Have you ever thought about how hard it is to walk? It's not something we often think about but, in reality, walking is incredibly difficult! Each step takes coordination between your brain and all the muscles in your legs. Each muscle has to move and contract in the proper sequence to move your leg out, place it on the ground, move forward, and repeat....
For one of my classes at Penn, I got a chance to learn all about how to make quad copters autonomous. All the 'drones' that have been becoming popular recently are almost all radio controlled, with some of the more expensive ones having a few layers of autonomy between it and the user. But for this class, we wanted to figure out how to make the quad completely autonomous - we wanted to get to a specified point without hitting obstacles with no other human input. We can do this by breaking this problem into three smaller parts: control, obstacle avoidance, and motion planning.
As part of my Machine Learning class at Penn, I got a chance to work on a gender identification project based on Twitter data. The goal of the project was to try to identify the gender of 5000 people on Twitter based on their profile pictures and a summary of all the tweets they had written. In order to stimulate creativity, the professor made the project a sort of competition between all the teams in our class with prizes (and more importantly, grade bumps) going to the best teams. While my team had no intentions of trying to win the competition from the outset, we actually ended up doing just that! Read on to find out how.
While I was studying at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, I got the chance to participate in a competition called RoboRodentia during my freshman year. Our robot performed rather poorly since all our sensor decided to stop working the day of the competition and ever since then I vowed I would re-enter the competition and do better. Due to circumstances that wasn't until my senior year when I decided to try flying solo and entering my own robot.
I have always been interested in computers, but in the summer of 2014, I finally got to build one myself.
I have always been pretty comfortable using a computer, but I had never given the internals of one too much thought. So, I began reading articles about how to build a computer and how one works in the fall of 2013
Assembly language is a programming language for microchips that is basically one step away from writing binary code. It is fairly tedious to write, which is why very few people code directly in assembly language anymore. So how many lines of assembly language does it take to create a simple PI motor controller on a Motorola 68HC12? About 1500, it turns out...
The unassuming green square of plastic in my hand was quite revolutionary at the time this picture was taken. This was the first ever print from a 3d printer that my friends and I had built in our college dorm room. Clearly there was some work to do still, but the fact that it was even possible to shove plastic through a hot nozzle and squirt it out into a 3 dimensional shape was incredible!