When I was a sophomore in high school I became fascinated with the humanoid robots that fought in the Robo-One competitions, so I decided to make my own to learn more about the field of robotics. Once I built it and finally wrote all the code, I made it remote-controlled, then smaller and more compact, and in the end I designed and had manufactured my own circuit board to get rid of all the wires you can see in the picture.
From fall of my freshman year through the fall of my sophomore year at UMD, I worked on creating a 'smarter' prototype of National Geographic's Crittercam under Professor Nuno Martins of UMD and Dr. Konrad Aschenbach from National Geographic. The purpose of the Crittercam is to allow humans to study wild animals by capturing video from the device, such as the first person video shown in the popular documentary March of the Penguins. My role in developing the new prototype was writing much of the software that used a variety of sensors and radios to create a mesh network between all of the active devices to best decide when to activate the camera, thus saving battery life and increasing the length of time the device is able to remain in the field.
At the second University of Michigan hackathon, MHacks II, my two teammates and I came in first place, competing against over 1,000 other students. Our project, GreenCan, was built during the 36-hour hackathon and acted as a single-stream receptacle that was able to sort recycling from garbage just based on input from a microphone. Check out a press release.
Built for the Databay hackathon, this project was meant to inspire friendly neighborhood competition in which individuals can take on challenges that have a positive effect on the environment, and track their progress against competing neighbors. A demonstration video can be found here.
As part of a small team at the University of Maryland, I competed in NASA's RASC-AL Robo-Ops competition to build a tele-operated planetary rover that gathers space rocks. My role in the project was to write all of the software to control the robotic arm that acquires the targeted samples. While the arm was unfortunately scrapped due to motor failures, I learned a lot about ROS (Robotic Operating System), and also taught myself the inverse kinematics needed to have a nice control of the arm and implemented what I consider to be a pretty nice system. For more pictures of the rover itself, check out the facebook page.