Joseph Voss

Mechanical Engineering student at The University of Texas at Austin specializing in Mechatronics and High Performance Computing.


  1. Automated System Health and Performance Benchmarking Platform: High Performance Computing Test Harness with Jenkins
  2. Student Cluster Competition 2016 reproducibility challenge: Genomic partitioning with ParConnect

Rotating Disk Projector

01 December 2014

After initially getting experience with the Linux command line through my experience working at Applied Research Laboratories over the Summer of 2014, I realized how much work could be done with a simple text-user-interface. Simultaneously, I wanted to have an ultra-portable PC, and realized that computing hardware was able to be minimized easily. The largest components of portable systems were the interfaces: the display and keyboard. Several portable keyboard options exist, but there’s no inexpensive portable display. I thought that by reducing the resolution of the display to the absolute minimum to produce readable text, a portable text-user-interface could be added to a small computer like a Raspberry Pi. As a proof of concept I laser-cut a disk with several small holes, which when rotated would create an 8x5 persistence of vision display. Using an ATTINY microcontroller and a hall effect sensor, a single LED was programmed to blink in series with the rotation of the disk, which would selectively turn a single pixel on or off. This proof of concept ultimately failed to do the low clock speed of the microcontroller and the instability of the brushed DC motor. A distinct varying pattern could be seen during the test runs, but a steady image was never formed. I intend to re-attempt this project with a brushless motor to enable more speed control, but I would like to have more electronics experience through my coursework before I pick it back up again.