Working alongside CMU alumni and founder of Pi-Variables, James Sullivan, I had the opportunity to learn about the manufacturing and design process of creating products. I spent the summer working in Pi-Variable's engineering department housed in Tenacore's manufacturing facility. Alongside James and his team, I learned from start to finish, every step of the construction of the pi-Lit traffic guidance system.
The beacons communicate wirelessly so all the user needs to do is choose one light to turn on and the rest of the lights will follow the sequence of patterns communicated from this first light. The lights can be programmed to create just about any fluid sequence you can think of. The lights are designed to be used for traffic management so the patterns I worked with were generally simple.
Over the summer I worked on every step of putting the pi-Lit systems together. From programming the boards that allowed for communication between the lights to assembling battery packs, remotes, and lens housings. I also became exposed to different manufacturing techniques like 3D printing for prototyping and injection molding.