Projects

We offer students interesting projects. Some of them are complicated, some of them are not. Some of them might take a couple of days to complete, some might take just a few hours.

The projects do not come with step-by-step instructions for each student to follow. Instead they are outlines, the details of which are left intentionally vague. They are really designed to be a starting point, a place where the students get a chance to use tools, equipment, and technology to accomplish a goal. Students will almost always continue to tweak and modify what they built long after the project's goals have been reached.

Below is a listing of some of the projects we offer.

Name Description Links
Refrigeration For years we have told our students that they shouldn't bring anything perishable to eat because we don't have a refrigerator. One year a student simply said "Why don't we make one?" That was enough to get us started. Now instead of no refrigerators we have three, although not all of them are as cold as we'd like. It turns out that making a refrigerator isn't as easy as you'd think. Pictures
TINA Tina is an image processing project. She has two webcams which are connected to a laptop running RoboRealm software. Also connected to the laptop is a servo controller board which holds two servo motors. The servo motors are attached to a pan-and-tilt mechanism and act as Tina's neck.

We can program Tina to recognize shapes, or colors and then to turn her head toward (or away from) the object or color she is looking for. In addition to looking, Tina can speak. So be careful when you're around her, she is likely to see you coming and will probably have something clever to say to you!
Pictures
RB ONE RB ONE is our "home brew" robotic vehicle. It is built out of angle iron, old CD's, surplus motors, baby stroller wheels, and Parallax electronics and sensors. Each year we try to add something new, or improve on what's already there.

There was a time when RB ONE was controlled by a LEGO RCX brick and it's wires were held in place with tape. Today RB ONE is driven by a Basic Stamp and the electrical connections are actually soldered together!
Pictures
Biomimicry The Biomimicry project is one of our most ambitious. We asked one our Mentors to build a segmented, "snakebot". We gave him a bunch of servo motors and free reign to design and build it anyway he chose. The results were outstanding.

During the week of summer camp, those kids who are interested, will be able to put together a snakebot segment, connect it to main body, and then learn to program and drive it.
Blog
Computer Science The Computer Science project is our first Mentor designed and Mentor led project. While participating in this activity students will learn how a computer works (literally), as they build one from it's most basic components. Knowing what the video card is, where it connects to the motherboard, and how it draws power from the power supply is just one example of what the students will learn.

We are also adding additional computer science projects designed by several of our Mentors and based on actual lab and programming projects they have worked on in college.
Blog
Hidden World The Hidden World was our very first project, and it is still one of our most comprehensive. Students need to build a vehicle and send it through a covered maze. Inside are "environment chambers" which are revealed only after the vehicle emerges from the maze and the data from the remote sensors is downloaded and analyzed. Pictures
We Also Offer... Career and College Path Insights: Visitors and speakers from aerospace and computer science industries, discussions with college students to hear about schools, classes and choices of major.

Astronomy: Take a tour of the highly regarded J. J. McCarthy Observatory on the grounds of the New Milford High School.
 
Miscellaneous

Here are some interesting things that simply sprang from someone's imagination.

+ Driving the zipline (nice polka music too!)
+ Autonomous Toothbrush
+ Miscellaneous

 

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