Fusion Reactor

Bio-Sample Loader

Automatically load bio-samples in & out of Northwest Nuclear Labs' Farnsworth-Hirsch fuso reactor

Latest Images

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Beginning the design process, we first set our specs:

  1. Move biological samples from a radiation free zone to the radiation hotspot

  2. Be able to store multiple biological samples at a single time

  3. Capability to expose different samples for different periods of time

  4. Prevention of radiation effects on electronics/PLA plastic

  5. Interface with existing Northwest Nuclear Consortium computer systems

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Inspired by custom 3D printers and autonomous machines in industry, our approach meets all of the specs outlined above while maintaining flexibility. Critically, the reliance on 3D printed components ensures affordability despite the highly custom nature of the device. Furthermore, the "bird-cage" structure serves as a convenient target for our research into the effect of high intensity neutron radiation on PLA plastics. Finally, smooth and precise motion is driven by high strength stepper motors operating at low loads, transferring motion via lead screw and timing belt systems with limit feedback. Lined with deck appropriate lead seals, the toaster is designed with radiation protection in mind, while software safe-guards confirms deck seal prior to reactor operation.


In order to take our idea from design to reality, we used various manufacturing techniques...


3D Printing



CNC Milling



Wood Milling



Latest Videos of Operation

First working demo - 8/2017



Daniel SHorr

Team lead (& co-conspirator with Nick to get people to work much harder than they want to). Project management, finance, & hardware input. 

Enjoys cooking Italian food 🇮🇹 and playing the cello 🎻, though spends most of his time watching movies instead 🍿.

Aspiring mechanical engineer and current student at Stanford.


NIck Cosby

Co-founder of team with Daniel and Software lead. Current lead project manager - responsible for all failings of the machine.

Enjoys the making & playing of video games. That is, in addition to all things babies find attractive: balloons 🎈, candy 🍭, snow ❄️, driving carelessly 💥...  

Aspiring video game designer and Disneyland imagineer.


Curtis Geffner

Hardware and design lead, manufacturing specialist.

Looking forward to the many hours of engineering puzzle-solving 🛴, video-gaming 🎮 , and of course, the cat-&-mouse of modern romance ❤️.

Aspiring extrovert and human of healthy life-style.


James Mitchell

Designer and prototype specialist. Connoisseur of terrible jokes and official team driver.

Enjoys the sound of his English accent and the silent-nobility of craigslist diving . Beyond those character-defining traits, a lover of impractical and upsetting pranks 😢 and good food 🥘.

Aspiring college student and master of his destiny. 


Contact us

Phone number: +1 (425)-218-5626


Northwest Nuclear Labs:

Swerve Robotics:

Special thanks to:

  • Carl Greninger

  • Lin Greninger

  • The team of students at NWNL

  • Heidi Lovett

  • David Fink