Laura Lindzey

robots, science, code

At Sea With Sentry

January 03, 2020
Sentry being recovered after a dive

Sentry being brought back on board the Atlantis after a dive

I'm a software engineer in the Deep Submergence Lab at WHOI, and I'm currently at sea with Sentry, a robot whose primary mission is to map the ocean floor. So, what do I do when at sea? And why are they sending software engineers out for operations? Read on →

Origami Butterfly: Adventures with Flexible PCB

November 26, 2019
Assorted origami butterflies

A very partial set of butterfly and flower prototypes. It turns out that origami butterflies have a natural predator in housecats, and I found ripped-apart wings all over the place.

As soon as I learned that I could order flexible PCBs, I knew I wanted to play with designing “origami circuits”, where the board itself is folded and soldered into a sculpture. A PCB exchange organized by a group of Boldport Club members gave me the perfect excuse to iterate on a concept and ship it out to an appreciative audience. My goal for this post is to answer some of past-Laura’s questions about what working with flexible PCB is like (OK, OK, and to show off the final product…) Read on →

My First PCB!

February 09, 2019

Designing a PCB1 and sending it off to fab is surprisingly accessible and feels like a super power. I’d been intimidated for years, but finally jumped in. Also, I love living in the future! For <$20, you can design a PCB, have it manufactured in a factory, and get it mailed to you. This still seems insane to me.

This post describes the path I took to get my first PCB manufactured, with an emphasis on not getting sucked into optimizing every decision. I’m assuming you already have a circuit drawn out or breadboarded2, and you want to immortalize it. Read on →

Touring UTIG's Airplane

February 27, 2016

Picture of JKB taxiing in front of Erebus

Don Blankenship's research group at UTIG has been collecting geophysical data in Antarctica for decades. Each season, we hire Kenn Borek Air1 to operate one of their modified airplanes, stuff it full of sensors, and fly around Antarctica. This post attempts to give a tour of the hardware involved, with an emphasis on its scientific purpose and a detour through Antarctic logistics. Read on →

Penguins Visit Zhongshan

January 20, 2016

I woke up to hear the magic word “penguins” in the dorm hallway, so I grabbed my camera and ran down to the shore, which led to a lovely afternoon spent following them around the station. This was all in accordance with my research group's official "penguin policy" stating that penguin sightings have priority over anything but a flight. Read on →

Xuelong: 2.5 Weeks on an Icebreaker

January 07, 2016

We left the Xuelong for Zhongshan station a month ago, but we've been so busy since then it feels like much longer. I've finally gotten enough time to put together some pictures from our remarkably enjoyable and relaxing time on the boat. Read on →

Apostasy, Step 1: Surviving Vim

October 17, 2015

My colleagues objected to installing emacs on our robot and I find nano woefully insufficient, so I finally admitted that I have to learn vim. Until recently, all I knew was :q!, and I used it with extreme prejudice. Read on →

A Brief Introduction to Ice-Penetrating Radar

July 27, 2015


I've been working with ice-penetrating radar data for years, and I still think it's so flipping cool that we can see through kilometers of ice using radar. This is possible because ice is mostly transparent to electromagnetic energy at radar frequencies. We see reflections at the air/ice interface, within the ice where its properties change, and at the ice/rock (or ice/water) interface. Read on →

What does networking look like?

November 11, 2014

As a student, I often heard that "networking" was the way to get a job. I didn't have a clear picture of what it involved, other than the oft-cited advice of "invite people at your target company out for an informational interview over coffee." The idea of setting up a coffee date with a stranger just because they work at a company that I'm interested in felt devious and mercenary and awkward - as though I wouldn't be straight-up asking for a job, but kinda-sorta hoping that they'd submit my name. I wish I'd had better examples of what networking looked like, or how it could lead to a job. Read on →

A Visual Chronology of Robots

November 01, 2014

I was just updating my official resume, and felt like making a more fun version. Here are all of the robots that I’ve worked with and could find pictures of. In chronological order:

Read on →