This article was made so you can get to know me a bit better.
Who Am I?
I am Karlo Smirčić, a passionate developer from Croatia. Currently, I am attending Gimnazija Andrije Mohorovičića in Rijeka, where I hope I will get enough mathematics and physics knowledge to get deeper into computer science and electrical engineering.
Beginning of my coding adventure
My mother is a computer science teacher and after I turned 11 (fifth grade), she introduced me to FMS Logo. I spent a lot of time solving exercises and then I signed up for a competition. In the end, I passed to the national level, where I secured ninth place. Throughout the next year, I got my hands on Arduino starter kit. This opened a whole new perspective for me. I thought almost anything could be done with Arduino. After finishing projects from the starter kit, I started tinkering on my own. While developing my projects I learned a lot about the low-level functions of Arduino (and similar microcontrollers) and its accessories.
When I was in eighth grade I competed in automation. I got to the national level, where I secured second place. We had to build an automatic cat feeder.
After I finished elementary school in 2019 I enrolled in Gimnazija Andrije Mohorovičića. That was when I was introduced to Python a bit more thoroughly. I pretty much fell in love with the language and used it for all kinds of projects. Over the next three and a half years I worked on a few bigger projects with my friends.
In the tenth grade, I was introduced to Dart and Flutter. Which I also got to know a bit better and now use to build mobile applications.
Mechanical engineering endeavors
When I was in eighth grade, I got my first 3D printer. It was a Chinese maker bot knock-off. This introduced me to Fusion360 and designing stuff I need. A year later Karlo Kajba Šimanić and I started working on a robotic arm. We did not have much experience building anything similar, so while we were building it, we figured out we had overlooked a lot of design mistakes. First of all, the joints did not have enough torque to move the arm with any reasonable force.
Sorry, I do not have a good picture of the arm in operation.
Our decision was to scrap the design v1 and begin designing a v2, which is going to have a lot better performance. I figured the best way was to start doing some prototypes of gearboxes. I designed a two-stage gearbox that has an input/output ratio of 35:1.
An article on this project is coming soon.
In tenth grade, we started working on our CNC router.
While we were building the CNC we had some hiccups along the way. The biggest problem was that the Z axis (the axis that moves the spindle up and down) was moving down when it should not have. We could not pinpoint the problem to a single component, so we decided to create a v2, which is going to have a lot better performance. I designed the v2 in Fusion360, and you can see the design in the picture:
In the end, we did not get to building the v2, we just bought a plain old 3018 CNC, which is performing awesome for its price.
My school also has a robotics team, where we compete in First Robotics Competition. I am a part of that team since 2019. We competed in 2020 in Istanbul, where we got a respectable outcome.
In 2021 the competition was held online. And in 2022 we did not gather enough money to sign up for the competition. Feel free to check out the team’s Instagram page.
Electrical engineering adventures
While designing some Arduino circuits, I got a piece of very basic knowledge about electronic components. At the end of 2021, our physics teacher asked me and a colleague to create a Doppler effect demonstration kit. I was mostly responsible for designing the electronics. I created the whole schematic in KiCad and CNC routed the PCB.
The project got me a bit closer to analog electronics, where I had to experiment with all kinds of different filters.
An article on this project is available here.
Rasporedi - school timetable
At the beginning of grade 11, a few of my friends and I started working on a timetable for the whole school. The idea was to create a website for all classes in my school with time for each subject.
A whole article with more information about this project is available here.
In 2022, my friends and I wanted to compete in software development. We came up with a mobile application made for freelancers to search for and provide freelance services.
You can read more about the projects on Jobscape.
In 2021 a colleague and I created a mobile application for the software development competition. The app is called Logicam and it is similar to Photomath, but it does Boolean minimization. We had to create our handwriting OCR for this project.
I was mostly responsible for the OCR, and the backend of the application.
An article on this topic is coming soon.
Plans for the future
One of my plans is to enroll in Fakultet elektrotehnike i računarstva. I am not sure what I will study, but I find both electrical and software engineering fun and interesting.
You’ve read it all
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