Recent Projects

Here is a brief overview of a few recent examples of projects Laurel has been working on. Click on the image for a more in-depth description and further information on any project. Additionally, here is a link to a more comprehensive portfolio: 


Foldscope Team: Cost-Effective Micro Lens Manufacturing Stanford University: the Prakash Lab Spring 2013 - Fall 2014 in Stanford, CA and Needham, MA  The Prakash Lab at Stanford University has recently released FoldScope, a high-resolution, high-magnification origami microscope for less than 1 USD, for disease diagnosis in the third world. This past year, Laurel designed and built a microlens printer for high throughput roll-to-roll production of aspherical microoptics for use on such platforms. The printer works by injecting/ pinning a UV-curable polymer droplet into an aperture hole and "freezing" it while in a dynamic mode. The phase change occurs on the order of 10 milliseconds, enabling a huge variety of molecularly-smooth, self-assembled, aspherical lens shapes. Inventor on patent 61/790,436: “Printed Lenses”. Presented at the APS’s Division of Fluid Dynamics Conference in late November, 2013. Click the link above or the image for the project page. 

Foldscope Team: Cost-Effective Micro Lens Manufacturing

Stanford University: the Prakash Lab

Spring 2013 - Fall 2014 in Stanford, CA and Needham, MA 

The Prakash Lab at Stanford University has recently released FoldScope, a high-resolution, high-magnification origami microscope for less than 1 USD, for disease diagnosis in the third world. This past year, Laurel designed and built a microlens printer for high throughput roll-to-roll production of aspherical microoptics for use on such platforms. The printer works by injecting/ pinning a UV-curable polymer droplet into an aperture hole and "freezing" it while in a dynamic mode. The phase change occurs on the order of 10 milliseconds, enabling a huge variety of molecularly-smooth, self-assembled, aspherical lens shapes. Inventor on patent 61/790,436: “Printed Lenses”. Presented at the APS’s Division of Fluid Dynamics Conference in late November, 2013. Click the link above or the image for the project page. 

PTV in Microfluidic Networks Olin College Spring 2013 in Needham, MA  Developed a fully automated, interactive MATLAB tool to detect the velocity distribution in small channels (order of 100 microns) for use in experimental microfluidics research at Olin College.

PTV in Microfluidic Networks

Olin College

Spring 2013 in Needham, MA 

Developed a fully automated, interactive MATLAB tool to detect the velocity distribution in small channels (order of 100 microns) for use in experimental microfluidics research at Olin College.

A Segway for Wheelchair Athletes Olin College Spring 2012 in Needham, MA  Designed a product for wheelchair athletes as part of the class “User Oriented Collaborative Design”. Completed over of 60 hours of user visits, including co-design sessions. Final idea: A hands-free, inverted pendulum with full leg/partial torso support. (Partially functional sketch model in picture to above). The design was intended to have super-intuitive control; users lean forward/ backward/left/right to maneuver. Leg braces are worn under normal clothing; platform and shoes are designed to be inconspicuous.

A Segway for Wheelchair Athletes

Olin College

Spring 2012 in Needham, MA 

Designed a product for wheelchair athletes as part of the class “User Oriented Collaborative Design”. Completed over of 60 hours of user visits, including co-design sessions. Final idea: A hands-free, inverted pendulum with full leg/partial torso support. (Partially functional sketch model in picture to above). The design was intended to have super-intuitive control; users lean forward/ backward/left/right to maneuver. Leg braces are worn under normal clothing; platform and shoes are designed to be inconspicuous.

Jimmy: The Humanoid Robot Platform of the Future Olin College and Intel Corporation Fall 2013 - Spring 2014 in Needham, MA  Designed a 3-D printable humanoid robot capable of bipedal walking and upper-body character expression (arm motions, head tilting/ nodding) using a total of only 4 motors.  Team was of 6 senior Olin students (Aaron Crenshaw, Elliott Donlon, Kathryn Lau, Orion Taylor, Zach Del Rosario, Laurel Kroo) and was one design of many preposed in a series of research teams.  Above picture links to final report. 

Jimmy: The Humanoid Robot Platform of the Future

Olin College and Intel Corporation

Fall 2013 - Spring 2014 in Needham, MA 

Designed a 3-D printable humanoid robot capable of bipedal walking and upper-body character expression (arm motions, head tilting/ nodding) using a total of only 4 motors.  Team was of 6 senior Olin students (Aaron Crenshaw, Elliott Donlon, Kathryn Lau, Orion Taylor, Zach Del Rosario, Laurel Kroo) and was one design of many preposed in a series of research teams. 

Above picture links to final report. 

Characterizing the Significance of Power Plant Blowdown Pollution on Rivers Olin College Fall 2012 in Needham, MA  Modeled, validated and investigated the effect of blowdown pollution from natural draft wet cooling towers on river ecosystems.Concluded that blowdown pollution from a single plant is typically not damaging to aquatic ecosystems - but depending on the size/ flow rate of the river, a series of plants can be very damaging.No EPA regulations governing the number of these cooling systems, based on flow rate, are currently in effect. Research Presented at ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress in Houston Texas, 2012 with co-author Aaron Crenshaw.

Characterizing the Significance of Power Plant Blowdown Pollution on Rivers

Olin College

Fall 2012 in Needham, MA 

Modeled, validated and investigated the effect of blowdown pollution from natural draft wet cooling towers on river ecosystems.Concluded that blowdown pollution from a single plant is typically not damaging to aquatic ecosystems - but depending on the size/ flow rate of the river, a series of plants can be very damaging.No EPA regulations governing the number of these cooling systems, based on flow rate, are currently in effect. Research Presented at ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress in Houston Texas, 2012 with co-author Aaron Crenshaw.

Firefly Synchrony Research: Non-Linear Dynamics and Chaos Final Project Olin College Fall 2012 in Needham, MA  Implemented a commonly used model known as a "biological clock" to simulate firefly synchronization dynamics. System was an n-dimensional ODE, based on the phase and distance of fireflies nearby an individual. Effects of group's spacial distribution (e.g. 2 distinct groups versus 1 group or arranged in a pattern) was examined, along with contributing parameters to sync success. Final presentation slides linked in above image; note that all videos in presentation are inactive (PDF file).

Firefly Synchrony Research: Non-Linear Dynamics and Chaos Final Project

Olin College

Fall 2012 in Needham, MA 

Implemented a commonly used model known as a "biological clock" to simulate firefly synchronization dynamics. System was an n-dimensional ODE, based on the phase and distance of fireflies nearby an individual. Effects of group's spacial distribution (e.g. 2 distinct groups versus 1 group or arranged in a pattern) was examined, along with contributing parameters to sync success. Final presentation slides linked in above image; note that all videos in presentation are inactive (PDF file).