Robotics Club Takes Top Honors in Virginia at Autonomous Surface Vehicle Competition
UCF's Robotics Club came back from the Association
for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International/Office
of Naval Research second international surface vehicle
competition much wiser and $6,000 richer. The club
was one of eight university teams that competed in
Virginia Beach, VA during the June 18-21 event held
at the Founders Inn.
Team members are
Ross Kerley (team captain), Mike Podel, Cassondra
Puklavage, Chris Bunty, Travis Goldberg, Justin Wiseman,
Brian Valentino and Jonathan Mohlenhoff.
Robotics Club autonomous vehicle competition members (left to right): faculty advisor Daniel Barber, team captain Ross Kerley, Cassondra Puklavage, Chris Bunty, Jonathan Mohlenhoff, graduate advisor Gary Stein, Mike Podel, Travis Goldberg. In the center: the triumphant S.S. Boatname.
Challenges this year include maintaining a heading while travelling at top speed, navigating through a reef, docking with a sinking ship, picking up a stranded lifeboat and fighting pirates (the craft is equipped with a water cannon). The team tailored the boat's hardware and software specifically to meet these challenges.
More information about this year's event is at the AUVSI.org Website.
UCF and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
The Modeling and Simulation Professional Science MS degree is a business/technical degree for working professionals and others who want to expand their knowledge and skills in modeling and simulation business and enhance their career opportunities.
The course provides a strong combination of business and technical courses and includes a graduate internship.
Partnership III Building
Contractors began site clearing for the third in the series of UCF buildings in the Central Florida Research Park dedicated to partnerships among UCF and the Department of Defense. The five-level office and research lab facility will be shared by the Institute for Simulation & Training, other UCF departments and components of the defense community.
IST will coordinate construction of the $20 million building. Funding is provided from state sources.
Originally cut from Florida’s 2007 budget, funding for the building was committed in 2008, just ahead of the economic downturn. Driving motivation for the partnership series is to help sustain Orlando as a hub for simulation research and industry development. The Partnership facilities help maintain a significant DoD presence, which, in turn, contributes to the local economy.
"The new building and the three other joint-use research park buildings whose renovation or construction IST has supervised are models of cooperation that have helped simulation R & D stay strong in Central Florida," said IST Director Randall Shumaker.
IST Associate Director for External Development Mark Yerkes manages the project for UCF. He also was in charge of Partnership II construction in 2003-2004. Yerkes said new construction will benefit considerably from reuse of the former building’s designs.
"P-III is basically a mirror image of P-II," said Yerkes. "That saved a lot of time and several millions in architectural design costs, allowing us to add energy efficiency improvements to qualify for an environmentally friendly 'LEED® Silver' designation."
LEED® is an internationally recognized certification system that verifies a building project is environmentally responsible, profitable and a healthy place to work.
When construction is completed (target:
summer of 2010) IST will consolidate its labs and
offices into the lower floors of both P-II and P-III.
Institute for Simulation & Training Research (IST) Associate Ravi Palaniappan will spend this summer in Japan promoting UCF and IST research in wireless networking and high performance computing, courtesy of the Japan Society for Promotion of Sciences (JSPS).
The Society provides opportunities for young researchers from North America and Europe to receive an orientation on Japanese culture and research systems and to pursue research under the guidance of host researchers at Japanese universities and research institutes.
The High Performance Computing Center at IST, powered by a 648-core IBM System Cluster 1350, in April marked its first anniversary online. Computing center researchers are seeking ways to develop direct interactive programs that enable the HPC, unlike traditional super computer batch processors, to provide near real-time results.
Palaniappan helped develop the high performance computer’s networking capability to connect with UCF faculty and local industry through Internet links. He will share his research with faculty from Tsukuba University, Osaka University and Fukuoka Institute of Technology during the mid-June through August visit that will include stays in Tokyo, Yokohama and Fukuoka. More about the High Performance computing Center...
Robotics Club scores a third place at SoutheastCon 2009
The IST-sponsored UCF Robotics Club came home with a third place win at the IEEE SoutheastCon robot competition held March 5 -8 in Atlanta. Competition was among 37 teams required to build a small autonomous "Recycling Robot" capable of locating, collecting and sorting different cans and glass and plastic bottles.
The vehicle had to fit within a 12x12x18 inch box at the start of the match, but could unfold to reach its full beverage-collecting potential. All sorting and storage of collected items had to be done on the vehicle. A further challenge was to avoid driving over a hidden electric fence.
The "Wall-e"-inspired robot would prototype a possible solution to the waste problem created by tailgaiting parties at athletic stadiums and college campuses. One or more of these manpower-saving vehicles could be turned loose within the confines of an event area to tirelessly hunt down, retrieve and sort for recycling all the cans and bottles left behind by revelers.
UCF Team members are students Gary Stein (graduate student advisor/programming, construction), Cassondra Puklavage (team captain), Johathan Mohlenhoff (electronics), Paul Nelson (electronics), Michael Scherer (construction) and Christopher Nergard (construction). IST faculty advisor is Daniel Barber.
SoutheastCon is the premier conference for the IEEE southeastern U.S. region. Alabama, Florida, Georgia, areas of Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and the country of Jamaica participate.
The robotics challenge is a popular part of the conference, which draws together students and faculty from electrical and computer engineering and computer science to share the latest information through technical sessions, tutorials, professional development sessions and exhibits.
You can view pictures and video of the UCF Robotics Club vehicle at the following Website locations. http://robotics.ucf.edu/gallery/gallery.php?gallery=ieee. Final runs are at this link. See all the robotic competitors in the video here.
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