Peter Duerst

Engineering Portfolio

I'm Peter Duerst (he/him), a software engineer and theater maker in the Boston area.

I graduated from MIT in 2018 with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering (Course 2A, Concentration in Biomedical Devices) and Theater Arts (Course 21M-2).

After graduation, I spent 5 years working as an engineer in robotics: first for 2 years at iRobot (doing electrical and mechanical engineering) and then for 3 years at 10Beauty (doing software engineering).

For more details about my engineering work, check out my Engineering Resume or some of my projects below!

Petal Quest (Work-in-Progress)

June 2023 - Present

I'm currently building the website for Petal Quest, the title that my partner and I are using to publish content for Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition. In particular, we've written a whole new family of dragons: the Prismatic Dragons. The most technically impressive aspect of the website is the Prismatic Dragon Builder, a tool which lets you build custom stat blocks for prismatic dragons.

Disclaimer: As of February 2024, the Petal Quest website is a work-in-progress, so please pardon any unpolished edges. I'll remove this disclaimer once it's complete.

See the source code on GitHub.


Jan 2020 – Mar 2020

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, I was interested in ways to improve the telepresence/video-conferencing experience. In particular, I wanted to empower remote D&D players participating in a local session. To do so, I made ASTRAL. From a web app, video-conferencing individuals can move the camera they're seeing through, allowing them to control where it looks. ASTRAL is a full-stack project: an HTML/CSS/JavaScript front end sends HTTP requests to a NodeJS webserver and a Python handler which sends serial commands to the camera.

Underwater Mining Robot

Feb 2017 – May 2017

I worked in a team to design an underwater mining robot for the class Design of Electromechanical Robotic Systems (2.017). We were required to create a robot that interacted with water, had some form of sensing, performed calculations off of those measurements, and then took action off of those calculations.

Leak Detection Robot

May 2016 – Aug 2016

I helped research a leak detection robot with the MIT Mechatronics Research Laboratory (MRL) the summer after my sophomore year at MIT. The robot is both passive and flexible, meaning that it passively moves with the flow of water and is flexible enough to bend around corners.

Hall Monitor

Sep 2015

For HackMIT 2015, a 24-hour hackathon, I helped create a lounge monitor called Hall Monitor. Hall Monitor worked as a system to enforce quiet hours in our dorm's lounge. If the lounge was too loud during quiet hours, Hall Monitor would tell the lounge to be quiet, using a firmer message if people were trying to sleep.