Ground Breaking Robots


Rowan Roudebush and Joseph Cybul
1 / 17

Rowan brief:

The Growing Building is a building which comes out of the ground in the order that it will be put together, but each component will be put together in a fantastical way, this is meant to turn a usually mundane groundbreaking ceremony delightful.

The goal of ground breaking ceremony’s are to meet investors and city councilmen. Unfortunately almost all of these ceremony’s are extremely boring, and consist of important people in tuxedo’s with ribbon and a shovel. The goal of my project is to have the groundbreaking ceremony for lot jk in divco west’s north point development, break through the norm for most groundbreaking ceremonies. Having the building come out of the ground will allow people to anticipate what is going to be there, and having it be put together in the order it will be put together in real life but in a fantastic way makes it enjoyable to watch. 

We’re using gears to lift up the floors in a 1:2:3:4 ratio so it looks cool. Then we’re going to have a rod with felt resembling the outside of the building wrapped around it spring up and attach to the side of the building with magnets. The entire structure is going to spin around and be wrapped in this felt, then confetti cannons will go off and everyone will applaud!!

Joseph brief:

An automated model of a building that comes from the ground and starts growing the same way a normal building will(first the structure and then the walls). 

In this project we are designing a robot that will be used in the ground braking ceremony of one of the buildings that DivcoWest is building, the idea is to create a more delightful way of representing the ground breaking, different from the typical ground breaking ceremonies where some important representatives of the upcoming construction use a shovel and a pile of dirt to symbolize the start of a new step on building community.

Our idea is to have an automated building that grows from the ground, as it grows represents the ground breaking and at the same time is giving some important messages, one that i really like is that it shows community and also gives as strong massage of confidence, We decide to show the process of a real building in our project to make it as close as reality as possible, so the floors will come out first and after that the walls will be wrapped around by a unit mechanism involving magnets, springs and motors. after that some lights will turn on pointing at the building and also from the inside. to conclude we will like some confetti cannons to spicy things up. 


Simone Sparrow


Teresa Lourie and Max Ingersoll
1 / 10

The Groundbreaking Bike is an attempt to add delight to the groundbreaking ceremony at the North Point Development in Cambridge and Somerville. A traditional groundbreaking ceremony consists of government officials and executives from the development company lining up with hardhats and often gold-plated shovels, and shoveling some dirt that was dumped in front of them by a dump truck. It is a good way for the company to celebrate the end of the arduous planning stage of creating a building, and the start of the building stage, but the ceremony is very dull for onlookers. The Groundbreaking Bike changes that.

Designed for DivcoWest, The Shovel Bike is a fully-mechanical, bike-powered steampunk digger, which is designed to be ridden at the groundbreaking ceremony in October 2017.  Cambridge and Somerville are known for their large population of avid bikers, as well as their emphasis on sustainability and environmental conservation. The Shovel Bike was designed to represent those values, and show that the North Point development would share those interests and mesh well with the other neighborhoods in those cities.

  When the user bikes, a shovel in front of the front wheel digs in a triangular motion, similar to how a human would dig. This motion consists of thrusting the shovel into the dirt, pulling it out, moving it to the side, and dumping the dirt. The front wheel of the bike is a sprocket, which the bike chain rides on. A gear train is attached to the sprocket, which gears down the pedaling, and increases the angular velocity of the last gear. A bevel, which changes the axis of rotation, is then attached track holding the shovel.

Final Presntation

Simone Sparrow and Sophia Cohen
1 / 19

When Divco West came to us with the intention of wanting a delightful robot, my groups initial response was dancing. Traditionally ground breaking ceremonies, are a boring site with about right men holding dirt away. We wanted to come up with a way to have the ground breaking become exciting., We created a robot that grows out of the ground and dances based of sound. Three are three different layers to the robot. The first layer comes out of the ground and starts doing a wave motion with its arms. The Second robot then comes out and while the fist robot is still dancing, the second robots head begins to pin around. And lastly the biggest robot comes out of the ground an begins to move its head up and down. In the background would be a fun upbeat song, while the applause of the audience is what control the robot to keep growing out of the dirt. 

Creating this box like robot was very complicated in any ways. We had to create a mechanism that would support all three boxes, and all three dance moves. We had a three legged wooden mechanism with serovs, which are like small motors, attached to the bottom of each body box. We then had to code the servos in order to get them to move to the angle degree we wanted them too. We did the same mechanism for the second box, but we had to use a third servo in order to get the head to pin around. Lastly the smallest box contains two tiny servos by the arms in order to get them to move in that motion. The smallest box will come out of the ground first followed by the rest based off of how loudly the crowd claps. It was be a pleasant fun surprise for all to watch. 


Sena Ball and Julian Slama
1 / 24

The Ant

C...... M......-F........
1 / 14

The Brief

C...... M......-F........

Many modern groundbreaking ceremonies today incredibly boring and  repetitive, the highlight of most being speakers by politicians or a few  mounds of dirt turned over with ceremonial shovels.  Our solution was to provide a fun and  interactive robot that would entertain guests at the ceremony, as well as spice up and do away with the traditional stigma of groundbreakings, one that is boring and pedestrian.

Our project is designed for Divco West, a large real estate company in Boston/Cambridge.  They asked for a robot to perform at the groundbreaking ceremony for their newest project, a lab building at North Point.  They did not give us much more specification than that it should be "delightful".  We explored many options about what could make something delightful, but eventually settled on an anthropomorphic ant that ground-breakers could control and drive around to complete a certain task.

To accomplish these goals we employed TONS of laser-cut wood, as well as cardboard and a significant amount of hot glue.  A set of remote-controllable wheels rested on a bridge along with an Arduino and battery pack.  We also mounted a cardboard shell on top of this to add aesthetic pleasure and disguise the inner workings.  Several legs were also mounted on the bridge.  These were controlled by one continuous motor, rather than several different servos.

Final Presentation Sonic

Amy Chan and 2 OthersNicholas Browne
Joshua Browne
1 / 22


Rosa Weinberg
1 / 3

 We put a twist on the traditional groundbreaking by designing a fully mechanical steampunk-esque bike-powered shovel.

DivcoWest Stairs Update

Max Kreppein
1 / 2

A representation of Cambridge building from farms and pastures into Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the time when Cambridge was home to massive candy manufacturers such as N.E.C.C.O. and Tootsie Roll, into what we know Cambridge is today, home to Biotech headquarters for the world and other huge companies like Genzyme and Novartis, and a view into the future of Cambridge, DivcoWest's North Point.

I am currently designing and building the way the stairs move up and down. I am also working on the overall design and layout of the project. I will be working on the final iteration of my project tomorrow, which requires a lot of assembling and a lot of wood :)