The Remote Light Switch

The Remote Light Switch

A device, allowing students to remotely control their lights, that retrofits onto existing light switches without the need to modify existing circuitry.

Designed for ENGS 21: Introduction to Engineering

Fall 2009, Dartmouth College

Collaborators: Aravind Viswanathan, Andrew Ceballos, Robert Moss, Jon Landress

The Remote Light Switch

This team project was devised in response to the prompt “Design a device to improve the quality of life”. Our team of five started by brainstorming potential problems that needed solving.  Our research and surveys revealed a problem that 75% of Dartmouth students experienced: beds in dormitories are always placed far away from light switches, meaning that once the lights are turned off, navigating to one’s bed is inconvenient and potentially harmful. A remote-controlled device for controlling the room’s lights would be very useful.

Our key constraints were that the device be easy-to-use and attach and that it cost under $30 (and thus be affordable for students). Our final design used a RF receiver/transmitter to control a linear-actuator-guided mechanical system, powered by simple AA-batteries. The casing was built out of HDPE polyethylene and could simply be screwed over existing light switches.

Technical Drawing of the Remote Light Switch

Internal Mechanism of the Remote Light Switch

An Eco-Friendly Office Chair

An Eco-Friendly Office Chair

An office chair redesigned for an 85% reduction in energy usage and 79% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions in production, transport and disposal.

Designed for ENGS 171: Industrial Ecology

Spring 2012, Dartmouth College

Collaborators:  Max Langford, Lucas Sanford-Long, Paul Rosenfield, Scott Sottosanti

Redesign of an Office Chair

Our task was to redesign an office chair for improved eco-efficiency. Our preliminary eco-audit showed that the main contributor to energy and carbon inefficiency was the large quantity of nylon and polyurethane used in the seat, back and supports. To combat the problem, we switched to a bamboo and  sisal-based design, and reconfigured the seat and back to use a flexible mesh rather than thick padding for support and comfort.

We achieved considerable gains in energy and carbon efficiency, and replaced non-recyclable parts with biodegradable ones.

Staples Lockridge Chair image courtesy of the Staples website.

Novel Microflora Isolation System for Faecal Microbiota Transplantation

Novel Microflora Isolation System for Faecal Microbiota Transplantation

A device to improve effectiveness and aesthetics of Faecal Microbiota Transplantation for Clostridium difficile and other colon infections.

Designed for ENGS 89: Engineering Design Methodology and Project Initiation

Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth College

Collaborators: Alison Stace-Naughton, Taylor Gray, Jenn Freise, Pauline Schmit


The aim of this six-month team project was to improve the quality and aesthetics of an effective yet rarely used medical procedure known as Faecal Microbiota Transplantation. Currently, physicians collect a stool sample from a donor, which is then blended with saline and delivered to the patient via enema or colonoscopy, in order to reconstitute “healthy” flora in the gut and cure certain infections.

We created a system that isolates and extracts bacteria from stool samples, creating a concentrated therapeutic substance free of stool particulates. We also explored some alternative delivery methods of this substance (such as oral ingestion).

You can watch a video of our final prototype video here.