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SAMUEL HIBBARD MECHANICAL ENGINEER 

About Me

About Me

 Hi,

I am a Mechanical Engineering student at Northeastern University, graduating in 2024. I have been lucky enough to have taken part in some really cool projects during my time as a student. I am passionate about solving problems, building awesome robots, and working with other talented engineers. During my three co-ops, I have been involved in mechanical design work for industrial robotics, additive manufacturing, and collaborative robotics. I am looking to join a close-knit team working on challenging design problems to solve important problems. In my free time I love to take long walks, write music and cook. Check out some of the projects I have contributed to below!
CV

CV

Samuel Hibbard | Boston MA | hibbard.s@northeastern.edu
Education

 

Northeastern University | Candidate for BS in Mechanical Engineering | 2019-Present

 

 

Experience

Institute of Experiential Robotics | Undergraduate Researcher | 2021-Present

Formlabs | Mechanical Engineering R&D Co-op | 2023-2023

Alloy Enterprises | Mechanical Engineering Co-op | 2022-2022

Fulfil Solutions | Mechanical R&D Design Co-op | 2021-2021

PARIS – DoE E-Robot Challenge | Design Lead | 2021-2022

NASA’s Mars Ice Challenge | Team Lead | 2019-2022

Sunrise Labs | Engineering Intern | 2018-2019

Awards

RISE Innovation Award for Student Research | 2022

1st Place Paper at NASA Moon to Mars Ice and Prospecting Challenge | 2021

2nd Place for Water Collection at NASA Moon to Mars Ice and Prospecting Challenge | 2021

DoE E-Robot Finalist, $200,000 Prize | 2021

1st Place Student Paper at ASEE Northeast for OSCILLUS | 2020

Moon to Mars Ice and Prospecting Challenge Finalist | 2019 and 2020

Dean's Scholarship | 2019

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Portfolio

Portfolio

PARSEC
NASA's Mars Ice Challenge | 2020-2021

Perhaps the most formative of my engineering experiences, PARSEC was a complex robotics project that I lead for two years while competing in NASA's Moon to Mars Ice and Prospecting Challenge. The challenge stipulated a robot capable of drilling into the Martian surface and extracting water from subsurface ice. The system also had to be capable of filtering the extracted water and identifying the hardness of each of the layers that it drilled through on its way to the ice. 

While working on this project I simultaneously led a 20-person team of student engineers and designed some of its most critical systems. It was rewarding to be able to train young student engineers and allow everyone to contribute to such an amazing project. I spearheaded and designed the melting and extraction system, which was consisted of an articulating and rotating heating element alongside extraction and purge tubing. All of this needed to fit inside a 35mm diameter tube, while being waterproof and stable up to 200 degrees Celsius. This subsystem was a great design challenge, please check out the technical paper below for details on its design.

We were very pleased that the system performed well at competition, breaking previous records for water collection before suffering a clog late on the final day. We ended up the best technical paper award (paper attached below) as well as 2nd place for water collection after an impressive showing from another team. We were also later acknowledged by Northeastern University at the RISE student research conference, winning the prestigious Innovation award out of several hundred participants.

PARSEC

Technical Paper

In the Press

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NASA's Competition Documentary

Our System Overview Video

AutoBrusher for Laser Slats
Alloy Enterprises | 2022

My primary project at my alloy enterprises co-op was to design and integrate a system to automatically remove dust and particulate from a laser cutter bed between each layer to ensure high cut quality and consistency. The system I designed to accomplish this consisted of a strip brush that swiped across the laser slats. The brush needed to be removed entirely from the cutting area when not in use, which necessitated a dual sided cam system to lift the brush out of the way of the laser bed walls for retraction. The AutoBrusher was pneumatically actuated using a rodless air slide and was a good exercise in proper kinematic constraint. The brusher had several axes of fine pitch adjustability built in, as well as a suspension system to mitigate forces between the brush and laser slats. I was able to design and build versions of this system for both the current foil laminate additive manufacturing system, and the next generation version of the system.

AutoBrusher
PROSPECT

PROSPECT
RIVeR Lab | 2023-2024

PROSPECT research project with Northeastern's RIVeR Lab, where we are trying to build a system capable of creating a 3D map of the material and spectral qualities of a rock. PROPSECT is a unique research platform designed as an end-of-arm tool to assist in the spectral measurements of 3D objects. It uses a Stewart platform-based kinematics to manipulate a fiber optic cable to collect hyperspectral measurements normal to the surface of an object at a series of points. This research platform was made to enable ongoing research into hyperspectral sensing-informed robotic interactions at the RIVeR Lab. A paper discussing this platform's design and testing will be released this spring.


I was the sole mechanical designer of the system, and was responsible for the design, electrical packaging, and assembly. I also contributed to the kinematics, integration, and testing of the system. 

Calibration Test Video

Laser-Safe Enclosure

Paper Coming Soon!

Laser-Safe Enclosure
Alloy Enterprises | 2022

At my most recent co-op I was able to serve as the lead engineer for the enclosure for our next generation foil laminate additive manufacturing system. This leveraged the sheet metal design skills I developed at my Fulfil Solutions Co-op, but for a much more complex and intensive application. Inside the machine was a powerful laser, which necessitates a light-proof enclosure to prevent stray lasers from injuring operators. This dictated many of the fastening and construction methods and required overlapping layers at every intersection. The machine also needed several doors for maintenance, as well as a light-proof entry port for the aluminum feedstock. All of these had unique requirements which made for an intriguing and involved design process. I was able to design the enclosure, create drawings and documentation, and communicate with vendors to get the system ordered before the end of my co-op.

Bioinspired Contact-Aided Spatial Mechanisms
Northeastern RIVeR Lab | 2022

I was able to pursue this individual passion project while working as an undergraduate researcher at the Institute of Experiential Robotics under the direction of Taskin Padir.  I was inspired by the contact and tension aided motions of the human wrist and ankle joints and wanted to develop a set of spatial mechanisms that utilized these same concepts to produce 3D motion without any traditional mechanical joints. The primary mechanism that I developed was the conical compliant rolling contact mechanism, which produced a motion similar to bevel gears without backlash and at a fraction of the cost. I presented my progress at the NERC 2022 in the form of a poster, attached below.

Compliant Spatial Mechanism
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PARIS

PARIS
DoE E-ROBOT Challenge | 2021-2022

PARIS was Northeastern University's entry in the Department of Energy's E-Robot challenge. PARIS was designed to make residential buildings more efficient by autonomously sealing regions with thermal leakage in the attics and crawlspaces of aging buildings. I was part of this project from its conception, where I worked with the RIVeR Lab to create a proposal for a treaded mobile robot with four flippers to navigate attic joists, and an arm with spray foam and thermal cameras to identify and seal leaks. To our surprise and satisfaction, we were announced as a winner several months later, and were given $200,000 to develop a prototype and commercialization plan. 

I served as the Design Lead for this project, where I was responsible for a large portion of the mechanical design, including the robot chassis, drivetrain, and gearboxes. The design involves four sets of concentric shafts to enable the coaxial control of the flippers and drive axis. Creating a gearbox capable of driving concentric shafts was a unique design challenge that I enjoyed. I also worked on the aesthetics, branding, commercialization, and technical communication for this project. I was selected to be one of the presenters for the system to the DoE, and I narrated a demonstration of the system after communicating the business plan. During this project, I learned a ton about mechanical design, team leadership, commercialization, manufacturing and integration.

Marketing Video

PARIS: Precise Air-sealing Robot for Inaccessible Spaces

PARIS: Precise Air-sealing Robot for Inaccessible Spaces

Play Video

Technical Design Summary

In The Press

Tray Shuttle