In the fall of my freshman year I decided to take a freshman advising seminar called “Mens et Manus” aka the MIT motto (mind and hand).
The goal of the class was to take the information we would be learning in the General Institute Requirements (GIRs), and applying them to real world problems. It was the first time the class was being offered and so they decided to base the class around making speakers which would be both educational and useful.
First we had to build a speaker as a group and thus I ended up with this monstrosity which still sits on my desk: A nice simple noise box.
It was a fairly nice speaker. We optimized the speaker port at the bottom (bronze colored) to amplify bass tones, and the nice laser cut acrylic box was rather pleasant to look at. The only downside for me was that it was rather boring to make and use. Conveniently, the class also had a personal speaker segment in which we were given $250 to make whatever speaker related object we could think of! Thus speakerbot was born!
Because of my previous experience in FRC in high school, I knew I had a passion for making robots, particularly wheeled robots that I could drive around (you might notice a theme that a lot of my passions involve round things that spin), and so I decided to use the money for the speaker for robot parts.
I ended up spending very little money on the speaker components, and spent the rest of my money on Lithium Polymer batteries (lipos), drill motors, and a brushed speed controller. This is what came out of it:
I took it Christmas caroling for a couple hours, and it even got to meet Woodie Flowers!
Sadly its time came to an end when my roommate and I decided to drive it up a ramp in our dorm. Who would have thought acrylic would shatter from the impact? lolz
Luckily the parts would become very useful in just a short few months…