Builds Waste Vegetable Oil Car

buildscc | 28 Jan 2011 | | projects


This purpose of this project is to design a car that will run on vegetable oil supplied by the Boston University dining services.

Current Status

The project is being put on hold until the fall because it is cold, and the actual build of the car would be in Warren Parking Garage.

Key Updates

The parts from the previously built car are no longer available. 1-19-11 The proposal for the car is being created and will eventually be delivered to the director of Sustainability.

Project members

Ian John

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Meeting Minutes for 2011-01-26

BUILDS meeting 15


John-Nicholas Furst

  • Microsoft NERD Hackathon
    • Takes place on 2/11 to 2/12 from 6pm to 3am
    • Register online (so they know how much food to get (YES, THEY’RE FEEDING US)
    • Consists of CS and engineering students from all over boston and cambridge
    • There will be speakers from Windows Phone, Google, etc
    • Go Register!

Kyle Brogle

  • LED Cube
    • It’s an 8x8x8 cube of LEDs
    • Great to develop your Electrical Engineering skills
    • The plan is for this project to serve as a companion to the “LED discoball”

Jeff Crowell

  • Laser-etch CNC
    • Contact Kyle/Jeff for more info

Valerie Young

  • Musical Stairs update
    • Progress is now well into the testing phase!
    • Blocking now on software updates and some final hardware tweaks

Kyle Brogle

  • Security CTF
    • Basically, it’s computer security capture the flag
    • You’re given a buggy server, and meet up with the other participants to protect your server from security attacks!
    • Run by MIT Lincoln Labs

John-Nicholas Furst

  • Projects
    • As stated before, BUILDS is about working on projects
    • The website has been updated so that you can create your own projects

BU Photon

  • Contact these guys for awesome physics-inspired projects
  • Current project idea is to construct an enormous foucault pendulum to hang from the roof of the science building.

Liam Wang/Monica Gribouski

  • MultiTouch Screen for BUILDS tables

Russell Shomberg

  • Blackhat Security talk @ PHO 309 10am-11am

Meeting ended 6:56pm




This Project has been reported dead because the vacuum being used broke, and no one has had time to repair it.


Using a common household vacuum for suction, we will build a wearable device that will climb smooth walls. A house vacuum is actually very powerful and exerts a large pressure, but it uses a small area for its nozzle. By attaching a large area pad with a rubber sealant should create enough force to stick a person to a wall. With two pads and the ability to turn off one at a time, we could scale smooth walls.

To Do

  • Calculate necessary suction from a vacuum - check
    • capable of directly holding weight onto ceiling
    • generates enough friction to hold onto a wall
    • use large safety factor
  • Obtain Vacuum - check - Perform tests on vacuum
    • find way to get seal on vacuum to test weight without permanently attaching anything.
  • Draw designs for pads - Gather other materials
    • wood (or some other material to make pads with)
    • rubber for sealing pads
  • Build Pads - Design a way to use in the field and build - Use to either stop crime or destroy the world


Rough calculations have been finished. A copy is on the white board in builds. Once we have a vacuum with a known suction pressure, we can go forward.


Designs need to be made.


  • Russell Shomberg (Project Head)
  • Samir Ahmed
  • Patrick Ehrlicher

“Let me know if you are interested.” -Rusty