John Moreland

Robotics + Mechanical Engineer

PROJECTS

user oriented design

user oriented design

Over the course of my semester in User Oriented Collaborative Design, my team got immersed in the world of urban spiritual healers. We spent countless hours researching their practices, conducting interviews, and even attending shamanic ceremonies. We dug deep into the personalities of shamans we worked with, and came to intimately understand the motivations, passions, and tensions in their lives and practice. My team essentially proposed a coffee shop co-op that lowers the barrier to entry to spiritual healing, and gives shamans a dedicated space in our society.


cnc egg decorator

cnc egg decorator

The goal of my Principles of Engineering class was to build a non-trivial electromechanical device within 8 weeks. My team decided to build a 3-axis, cylindrical CNC machine capable of drawing on eggs. As part of the mechanical team, I helped design the machine’s structural elements and subsequently fabricate them using rapid prototyping technologies. The software team made an awesome inkscape plugin that allowed us to draw arbitrary, user-drawn shapes on the eggs. We wrote more about the Egg Decorator and the process behind it on our project website.


folding kayaks

folding kayaks

Can you build a kayak with $50? Yes.
our inspiration
Ingredients:
  • Corrugated Plastic
  • Duct Tape
  • Blue Tarp
  • PVC
  • Scrap wood for structure
  • You’ll need to find your own paddles


play project

play project

My team of 5 was tasked with creating a turtle-themed play experience for fourth graders. After interviewing younger nephews and cousins, we learned that our game should be both cooperative and competitive, while also allowing the fourth graders to become turtles. After laughing at videos of turtles getting stuck on their backs, my team decided to incorporate that motion into our design.
We decided to construct turtle shell backpacks out of triple wall cardboard, fabric, and packing peanuts. We then brought in several classes of fourth graders to play test our game. Overall, it was a great experience for everyone involved.

volcano robot

volcano robot

I spent my senior year of highschool creating a volcano exploration robot with a team of eighteen other students. We simulated an industry experience in a classroom environment by establishing a corporate identity - dot, and competing for a contract.
Our team was tasked with creating a machine capable of boring into a volcano, collecting empirical data, and launching a drone to safely relay information. As per industry standard, we meticulously documented our work, and held design reviews with engineers from Boeing, Raytheon, and Northrop Grumman, among others.
push here!

push here

Don’t get me wrong - I love Olin, but for an engineering school there are a few aspects that are pretty poorly engineered. One of the most glaring issues is Olin’s doors. The worst offense is in the dining hall, where there is a pair of doors that open in opposite directions. These unintuitive double doors have always frustrated me. One day I was able to convince a team of students that labeleling the doors would "add value" to the Olin community. We did a test run with post-it notes indicating which side of the door to push. In a follow up survey, over 2/3rds of students admitted the post-its were useful. So, I decided to take it a step further and vinyl cut enough stickers to label all of Olin’s annoying doors.


competitive robots

competitive robots

Starting in 7th grade, I participated in an annual robotics competition. VEX robotics was my first experience with hands-on engineering. I often credit VEX as the reason I decided to pursue a career in engineering.
In my last year of competition, my team was fortunate enough to establish a partnership with Rolling Robots, a local robotics workshop. We began mentoring their middle school teams as we transitioned to more challenging robotics projects. It has been amazing to witness the program grow and succeed over the past few. Rolling Robots now has 8 VEX teams and has won tens of awards, including the World's Championship Excellence award.