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Advanced Robotics


After nearly three years I finally found myself back at the beck and call of a robot.  :) I took Advanced Robotics in the fall of 2023 with Professor Bradley Hayes who genuinely is one of the best professors I've ever had the pleasure to take a class with. Because I am pursuing an Accelerated Masters through the CS department, I'm allowed to take a few graduate classes while still in undergrad, so this was also my first introduction to grad school. During the semester, we covered a wide range of topics including ROS, Reinforcement learning, Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM), Optimization, Kalman Filters and Particle Filters.

The final project for the class was to work with an Amazon Deep Racer (a prebuilt robot) to complete several challenges. The biggest challenge was to navigate a lap around the basement of the engineering center fully autonomously. We achieved this using onboard Lidar and spent many hours finding ways to account for inconsistent walls including cut outs, open doors, glass and more. The second major challenge was to map the same lap using SLAM. We were able to achieve this using a library called SLAM Toolbox. This allowed us to drive the robot around and have it construct a map of the world around it as well as use that map to determine where it was at any point in time. We also used a basic object detection classifier to detect and obey stop signs in our path.

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