Big Summer Plans for MARHES Lab Students

Congratulations to several MARHES Lab students on the recent awards, fellowships, and summer internships they have been granted! To highlight some of the exciting work they will take part in this summer:

Jonathan West, NM Space Grant – Jonathan was awarded the New Mexico Space Grant for 2016-17, a fellowship program administered by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

Joseph Kloeppel, AFRL Fellowship – This summer, Joseph will spend 12 weeks working at Kirtland Air Force Research Labs (AFRL) in Albuquerque, New Mexico under the AFRL Scholars Program under the Directed Energy Directorate.

Steven Maurice, AFRL Fellowship – Steven will be part of a 12 week internship with the AFRL Scholars Program where he will work with a Baxter Robot to explore intelligent assembly and manufacturing techniques for spacecraft.

Jasmin Regalado,  AFRL Fellowship – Jasmin will be working with the AFRL Scholars program at their Florida location this summer where she will be conducting research on 3D modeling and printing as well as robotics.

Rebecca Kreitinger, Sandia Natl. Labs Internship – Through the UNM NSF Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Talent Expansion Program (STEP), Rebecca received a summer internship with Sandia National Labs within the Center for Computing Research (CCR) where she will be studying how performance interference affects parallel application executions.

Carolina Gomez, Sandia Natl. Labs Internship – Carolina will begin working this summer in electronic/optical materials research and development as part of an internship with Sandia National Labs.

In addition, our other MARHES Lab students continue to do fascinating research within our lab in the field of robotics/drones. Best wishes for your summer plans MARHES team, and keep up the good work!

LoboRacers Represent SOE at Capitol

unm-day-1-31-2017 LoboRacers team members Rebecca Kreitinger and Carolina Gomez represented the University of New Mexico’s School of Engineering as part of UNM Day at the New Mexico State Capitol in Santa Fe on Monday, January 30th 2017. Kreitinger and Gomez displayed the team’s F1/10 autonomous race car and answered questions about the car/ competition, UNM’s SOE, and the ECE department. Joining them at the SOE table were Kim Delker (SOE Marketing Manager), Steven Peralta (Director of Engineering Student Services), and Phoenix Baldez, a nuclear engineering grad student demonstrating radiation found in dye with a Geiger counter. 20170130_092053

Visitors ranged from all ages and a variety of backgrounds. State legislators, K-12 students, Capitol employees & visitors, and other members of the UNM family all stopped by to check out the race car, Geiger counter, and talk about engineering. Many of the kids visiting were fascinated by the F1/10 race car and came by to talk with Kreitinger and Gomez about robotics, expressing their enthusiasm for becoming engineers one day.

To read more about UNM Day, click here: http://www.ece.unm.edu/featured-students/ece-electrifies-nm-legislature.html

The ultimate goal of UNM Day was to provide an opportunity for both state officials and the public to see what UNM is all about, and that this “outreach will make an impact on lawmakers and remind them why it’s important to continue to support UNM.”

 

 

LoboRacers take 2nd at First International F1/10 Competition

DSC_1268 (3)On October 2nd 2016, LoboRacers took 2nd at the first International F1/10 Competition. The event took place at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA. Various other universities attended such as Arizona State University and University of Pennsylvania. The team consisted of Greg Brunson, Carolina Gomez, Rebecca Kreitinger, and Jonathan West. The objective of the competition  was to finish the race course the fastest with a completely autonomous car. Led by Brunson, the team was able to take home 2nd place, losing only by 5 secs.

The competition was aimed to motivate students to come up with algorithms that could help further the topic of autonomous driving.

Congratulations LoboRacers!

To read more, click here: http://www.ece.unm.edu/featured-students/ece-loboracers-place-2nd-at-esweek.html

For more information about the event, click here: http://f1tenth.org/index

F1/10th Competition

The University of New Mexico and Sandia National Labs have teamed up to enter the F1/10th autonomous racing competition. The project entails building a small car and developing an algorithm to move around a track without the use of a person. The faster the better. The team hopes 20160808_152137to race at the National Competition in Pittsburgh, PA this upcoming October.

To learn more about the competition visit http://f1tenth.org/.

The team is composed of representatives from the UNM ECE MARHES lab and the Robotics Research and Development department at SNL. The team is jointly supported by both organizations.

Engineering the Elements Lab Tour

Last Saturday, April 16th, the MARHES Lab participated in giving tours to local High School Students as part of the HESO event, Engineering the Elements. Students were able to participate in a trivia game developed by Steven Maurice utilizing the Baxter Robot. The game has the Baxter ask the students trivia questions which they can then answer using cards that the robot can read. It was a great time for the students and the lab!

 

Congratulations Patricio!

Patricio Cruz was selected as the School of Engineering’s outstanding graduate student for Electrical and Computer Engineering. This award is part of the SOE’s annual awards and is given to the most outstanding student on the basis of grade point average, research and service to the school.

 

Sensor Localization Paper Accepted to ACC 2016

“Sensor Localization Using Hybrid RF/Optical Wireless Communications for an Aerial Data Mule” was accepted to ACC 2016. ACC stands for the American Control Conference which will be held in Boston, MA, July 6-8. Congratulations to Patricio, Brian, and Rafael!

         Abstract—In this paper, we consider the problem of pairing a ground sensor with an aerial vehicle, both equipped with a hybrid communication system – radio frequency for low bandwidth data transmission and optical for high bit rate. These communication technologies are complementary and by coordinating them, it is possible to mitigate each other’s weaknesses. A challenging problem is positioning the flying robot within optical communication range, especially when the distance is large and the sensor location is unknown. In this work, we propose a solution to the problem of autonomously localizing the sensor node relative to the aerial vehicle. We take advantage of the hybrid communication scheme by developing a control strategy that uses the radio signal to guide the aerial platform to the sensor node. Once the optical-based signal strength is over a desired threshold the robot hovers within optical range. The control strategy is demonstrated through simulations that incorporate a realistic model for the hybrid communication link.