06/24/09

Permalink 08:55:07 am, by Owen Watson, 270 words, 823 views   English (US)
Categories: 2009 Summer REU

Summer REU at CMU part I

Hello everyone! My name is Owen Watson and I am a rising Senior Computer Science major at Florida A&M University. This summer I am working With Dr. Toureztky at Carnegie Mellon University. Part of this summer I spent developing code in Tekkotsu. Tekkotsu was developed here at Carnegie Mellon University by Dr. Touretzky and his graduate student Ethan Tira-Thompson. Tekkotsu is a robotic programming language that abstracts from the lower level commands(like turn left servo 90 degrees) and focuses more on Behavioral robotic programming. Tekkotsu uses C++ as its basis and is fairly comfortable to use if you have a background in C++. Tekkotsu already has drivers for the Irobot Create, the Chiara, Regis, Qwerkbot, and probably the most popular the Sony Aibo. Currently I am working on some demos for the IJCAI competition in Pasedena, Ca. One thing that caught me off guard was getting hands on training in the hardware side of Robotics. Another portion of my summer was devoted to debugging and fixing hardware issues on the Chiara. The Chiara is a robot developed by Dr. Touretzky for educational purposes. The chiara has six legs, one arm with three degrees of freedom, a camera and an IR range finder. I learned about servos and their controllers, voltage converters and other things that i would not of been exposed to as a Comp. Sci. major. I expected to gain a wealth of knowledge as far as programming techniques and this was sufficed; however, the added exposure led to a spark in my own creative insight and desire to continue pursuing education and a career in robotics.

06/23/09

Permalink 02:41:49 pm, by Charlston Manning Email , 155 words, 35226 views   English (US)
Categories: 2009 Summer REU

2009 CarnegieMellon University Internship

I am back at Carnegie Mellon University for the 2009 summer. This summer I have taken away from the design aspects and now I am onto the programming part now. This summer I have to created a program to demo for IJCAI in California. I have chosen to get the robot dance to give it a personally at the conference.The type of dance I am trying to get it to do is called the “Stanky Leg".The main problem that I have been running into while trying to get the chiara to do the dance is the limits of the robot its self. To solve this problem with the limits of the chiara was to create a more simple Behavior to have it do, while look good plus to keep the robot from killing its self. So I am back for the second year in a row to work on the Chiara for the summer.

06/22/09

Permalink 05:12:09 pm, by Gheric Speiginer Email , 302 words, 88634 views   English (US)
Categories: 2009 Summer REU

Intro

Hi! My name is Gheric Speiginer and I am working with Keenan Black in Chad Jenkin’s Lab at Brown University. I am a rising Junior at Hampton University and my major is Computer Science. Recently Keenan and I have been working with the ROS platform, currently being developed by Willow Garage.

Willow Garage, if you’ve never heard the name before, is a new company that is attempting to standardize the field of robotics. They basically want to be the “Google” of robotics. One of their biggest projects is a new open source robotic operating system, called ROS, which stands for… Robotic Operating System (creative huh?!). Anyway, there is lots of hype around ROS right now. It has more funding than many other robotic frameworks like Player/Stage and has a quickly growing community. When it comes to open source, its generally a good idea to go where the hype is, for obvious reasons such as more people available to help you troubleshoot a problem, and more people to help progress the development of the project.

So back to Keenan and I at Brown University. Our current task here involves developing a ROS compatible driver for the iRobot Create. So far we have had some pretty good progress with only a couple of stumbling blocks. ROS was pretty trivial to install on the ASUS eeePC laptops that are used with the iRobot Creates here at Brown (or Smurvs, as they’re also called). The tutorials were just as simple to set up and run. The only minor problems we ran into were configuring ROS to work over a network, but more on that in the next blog.

You can find more information about Willow Garage on their website here:
http://www.willowgarage.com/
And more about ROS here:
http://pr.willowgarage.com/wiki/ROS

Permalink 09:49:15 am, by Alex McNeely, 72 words, 50103 views   English (US)
Categories: 2009 Summer REU

Hello

Hello All

My name is Alex McNeely and I am a rising sophomore at Morgan state University. My major is Industrial Engineering with a concentration in CAD. This summer I will be working in Dr. Charlie Kemp’s lab. Using my CAD skills I will be designing and replicating parts using Solidworks. This is a lot of fun for me since I get a chance to explore my engineering interests outside the classroom.

06/19/09

Permalink 01:29:03 pm, by David Angulo, 176 words, 68770 views   English (US)
Categories: 2009 Summer REU

Designing Interfaces and visualizations for community-collected sensor data

This project focuses on collecting and presenting data. We are focusing on collecting data from CRITICAL MASS.

CRITICAL MASS is a bicycling event typically held on the last Friday of every month in over 300 cities around the world. While the ride was originally founded in 1992 in San Francisco with the idea of drawing attention to how unfriendly the city was to cyclists,the leaderless structure of Critical Mass makes it impossible to assign it any one specific goal. In fact, the purpose of Critical Mass is not formalized beyond the direct action of meeting at a set location and time and traveling as a group through city or town streets on bikes.

The aim is to gather data from the critical mass happening this 26 of June here in Atlanta.
How are we going to do it ??

Instrumenting the bike with:
GPS sensors
Video cameras

Instrumenting the bikers with:
Heart rate sensors
GSR sensor

Media used to gather data :
Flickr
Twitter
Police scanners
Video surveillance cameras

Here is an example of what we are trying to do:

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