Friday, July 26, 2019

2017-07-26: Tyler Garrett, Alex Glandon, and Sami Mian: Exit Presentation Summer 2019

Tyler Garrett, Alex Glandon, and Sami Mian have spent their summer working on simulating small satellite free flyers for coordinated operations.

Watch their exit presentation to learn more about their research! It even includes a sneak peak of a demo!

Thursday, July 25, 2019

2019-07-25: H.O.M.E. Team Exit Presentation Summer 2019

H.O.M.E. stands for Highly Organized Multi-agent Enclosures. Student interns, Chuck Sullivan, Samantha Glassner, and Aaron Shepard worked very closely with Jim Neilan this summer on this project.

Watch their exit presentation to learn about their work with soft robots!

2019-07-25: Jessie Robinson Exit Presentation Summer 2019

Jessie Robinson managed to complete a lot during her 10 week internship here at NASA Langley. She worked closely with augmented reality but experimented with a lot more, as well.

With one of her mentors being Lisa Le Vie, an Ai team member, she worked very closely with our branch. Thanks for everything you've accomplished so far, and good luck starting your Master's program at Virginia Tech!

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

2019-07-23: Jamie O'Brien Exit Presentation Summer 2019

Unfortunately, all internships must eventually come to an end, and our friend, Jamie O'Brien, has nearly reached the finish line.

Watch her exit presentation, where she explains her summer work with the In-Space Assembly project.

Monday, July 22, 2019

2019-07-22: Jamie O'Brien and Her Multi-Agent Inertial Transfer System

This summer, Jamie O'Brien has been working diligently to create a launcher for her multi-agent inertial transfer system.

With only a week left and an exit presentation coming soon, she's been preparing to close out her internship for the summer. Don't get too upset, though, because there's a new spotlight video out, and she's the star!

Thursday, July 18, 2019

2019-07-18: Charles "Chase" Noren Exit Presentation Summer 2019

After many months here at the Autonomy Incubator, Chase Noren's internship has reached the finale. Soon, he will be embarking on a new journey of life, where he will be starting his Ph.D program at Carnegie Melon University!

Watch his exit presentation to learn about his work with In Space Assembly, using scanning LIDAR for local environment mapping.

Friday, July 12, 2019

2019-07-12: Ai Team Member Walter Waltz Gloriously Finishes his Ph.D

Cheers to the month of Walter!

Walter Waltz has been a part of our team for a whole year now, and, along with his anniversary, he also just gained one of the most major victories achievable by man or woman: his Doctor of Philosophy!

This triumph took infinite amounts of hard work and dedication over the past few years.

Walter started his journey at Florida State University, where he received his Bachelor's degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mathematics. He then proceeded to further his education at the University of Florida, where he received a Master's Degree in Mechanical Engineering and pushed his focus towards robotics for his Ph.D program.

The Autonomy Incubator team is incredibly proud and happy to congratulate him on his success.

Some of us even got to take him out to lunch to celebrate!

Prior to joining us at the Ai, he used to work with many different robots that operated in hazardous environments.  Now, he is part of the In-Space Assembly project! He has been focusing mainly on motion planning so that the robot can successfully undertake each step of the assembly process.  Three important aspects he focuses on include object detection, collision avoidance, and trajectory execution.

This week Walter's parents came to NASA Langley to visit him and see his work in person.  In fact, his father works with robots as well!

Getting a Ph.D is a long and difficult process, so we praise Walter for sticking through the challenge and finishing with nothing but success!

*Queue applause here*

Thursday, July 11, 2019

2019-07-11: Chase Noren on Autonomous Robot Operations for In Space Assembly

Charles "Chase" Noren first came to the Ai in 2017 and has kept coming back ever since.

Learn about his work with autonomous robot operations for the In Space Assembly project!

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

2019-07-02: Ai Team Members Test GPS Emulator

PI Ralph Williams and intern Jeremy Castagno discussing the test.

On a hunt to find a fellow intern, I was pleasantly surprised to find Jeremy Castagno and Ralph Williams in the control room of the flight area preparing a test.

I let out a quiet squeal of excitement and left to quickly grab the camera to document the latest and greatest test in the Autonomy Incubator.

The goal for today was to assess the VICONTM coordinate system. Our software team built a program that allows for the computer to emulate a GPS and inform the quadrotor of where it is in the world.

"We essentially pretend that we're a GPS device, send it through their receiver, and it actually believes it! It's really cool," Jeremy explained.  What is most interesting about it is the fact that the drone cannot tell whether it is using real GPS or our emulated version!

The computer program can mask itself as a GPS system.

Normally, you would operate in a cartesian coordinate space (X, Y, Z), but since we are using GPS we have to translate it.  Additionally, in order to command and communicate to Pixhawk® you would use North East Down (NED), which is its own internal cartesian coordinate system.

"As the VICONTM sees that its moving in this area, we convert those coordinates to GPS coordinates, send it to the drone, and then it turns those GPS coordinates into its own internal cartesian system."

Ralph walked the drone around the area to see the effectiveness of the
coordinate systems.

All in all, their main goal is basically to just make sure that they can understand and translate between the VICONTM coordinate system and its own internal coordinate system.  They need to be aligned and effectively working.

Pixhawk is a trademark of Lorenz Meir.

Monday, July 1, 2019

2019-07-01: Pathways Intern Jeremy Castagno on Safe Rooftop Landings

After a brief internship last summer, Jeremy Castagno has returned for twelve weeks to continue his research on safe landings for autonomous vehicles in flight.

Watch his Spotlight Interview to better understand his goals and why his research is critical for the Autonomy Incubator!