About Erica

  • Website: or email
  • Biography: Business owner, musician, cyclist, and tinkerer. Harvard undergrad, Ph.D. in physics from Columbia. Wife of Bruce, mother of Holly and Laurel.

Posts by Erica:


Microchip 900164000732332

on Jan 25, 2017 in Making

If Google brought you here looking for a microchip in a dog, you have found our collie Merlin. Please contact us by e-mail at ens AT ix.netcom.com


Tikkum Olam Makers: an assistive technology make-a-thon

on Sep 13, 2016 in Making

Near the end of July, I took part in a very special maker event. For three days Nova Labs devoted itself to creating assistive technology solutions for individuals with disabilities, under the guidance of Tikkum Olam Makers (TOM). Tikkun Olam is Hebrew for “repairing the world”, and TOM’s approach to this is to bring together […]


Programming the Arduino with the Eclipse IDE

on Dec 18, 2013 in Making

Back when I was working on my firefighting robot, I wanted a better system than the default Arduino IDE (integrated development environment). With dozens of files and thousands of lines of code to manage, a professional development environment became highly desirable. I blogged previously about moving my Arduino code into Eclipse. On November 19, 2013 […]


Working in 2D: Using a CNC Mill

on Oct 10, 2013 in Making, Woodworking

I have been enjoying the 3D printer. It’s very easy to go on Thingiverse and download toys and objects to print. My ultimate goal, though, is to design my own parts for the machines I want to build. And that means learning computer-aided design (CAD) software. There are quite a few of these around for […]


Building a 3D Printer

on Sep 19, 2013 in Making

For a while now I’ve been working to upgrade my toolset, in order to make more interesting robots. One of the projects is 3D printing. Today I’m happy to report the completion of a milestone: I am the proud owner of a home-built 3D printer! There are so many choices when it comes to 3D […]


FireCheetah returns to Abington

on Apr 18, 2013 in Making

Saturday was the Abington firefighting competition. I had entered this contest last year with very little time to prepare, and was looking forward to trying again. I made considerable progress (as blogged here over the past few months), and showed up with a robot that was stronger and simpler. Most importantly, it was smarter. Tests […]


Ready to put out some fires

on Apr 11, 2013 in Making

Finally the time has come — the Abington Firefighting Competition is two days away. FireCheetah is tested and ready to go! The kids have their own robot this year, a LEGO Mindstorms creation named Dark Lord, and he is looking good too. All about sensors With navigation mostly solved early on, there was more time […]


More robot software improvements

on Mar 14, 2013 in Making

The Abington firefighting competition is one month away. I’ve been working hard on the controller software, and at this point FireCheetah reliably navigates on continuous surfaces (floor or rug). That is well ahead of where things were last year! Along the way I came across a few things that may be useful to other roboticists. […]


Making a robot go straight

on Mar 5, 2013 in Making

If you create a mobile robot with a job to do, at some point you will be faced with the need to get it to a specific location. Firefighting competitions require the robot to navigate a known maze. Much of my limited time last year was spent trying to get FireCheetah to do the supposedly […]


Coursera, MATLAB, robotics, and 3D printing

on Feb 10, 2013 in Education, Making

The Heterogeneous Parallel Programming course at Coursera is more or less wrapped up. There were so many problems with the grading system that any “final resolution” has not been made as far as grades, and it is a little anti-climactic. I did very well on the assignments, but don’t know exactly what we get as […]

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