5/4/17

As the period for research with my team draws to an end, it is time to focus on a few more tasks with the main one being the final report. Daphne asked  each member to review the guidelines and submission requirements and to submit personal materials, comments, summaries, literature reviews, and suggestions for the final report. All team members are very confident in the composition of this paper as we have worked hard and have a learned a lot from the covered  topics.

As usual we have all decided to contribute in different ways to the paper. I will be contributing technical summaries of literature to accompany other information. report  Most of my information will be focused on algorithm search, especially the Virtual Pheromone algorithm due to the fact that we highly considered its implementation into our Swarmathon efforts.

Short term goal: Send team leader report contributions; Submit final report

Long term goals: If this research effort continues in the Fall of the next academic year, the goal is to continue to enhance the code, address problems that occurred often at the Swarmathon competition and to leave the new competition team better code.

Outreach goal:  Our goal is expand our efforts to include new schools with more diversity. In addition to that, learn from our first workshop experiences and improve on the agenda goals.

Tomorrow is submission day and I look forward to what we deliver.

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4/27/17

Although I was out of town due to a business trip most of the week, I was able to catch up with my team on updates during the meeting. Daphne updated me by stating there is a final report due May 5th for CRA/CREU. The plan is to use the Technical paper that was previously written as our basis and add new material as needed to fit the guidelines. Along with everyone else I will be assisting in the writing process.

I have been trying to plow through the technical papers still. In my previous blog I had given a synopsis of what the paper entails. I have not given another one since because this thesis is talking about the same topic just in greater details. I think it may be time to move onto another literature.

Short term goals: Get the report started, continue testing and begin physical  testing.

Long term goals: Work on Explore and Exploit algorithms.

 

 

April 20, 2017

This week my team is in Florida for the Swarmathon competition!
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I have tried to read more of my technical papers while trying to focus on the upcoming pageant on this Sunday! I did get to speak with a few of my members about the Preliminary competition and in a nutshell, they were looking forward to a new day and left it open to our interpretation as to how the competition went.

According to our team leader, out next steps will be to analysis the Explore-and-Exploit algorithm. We will begin by doing several physical outdoor tests. Hopefully this weather clears up to allow us to complete these tasks.

Robotics long term goal: Improve upon current code to serve as a resource for the next team with emphasis on improving localization and implementing the Explore-and-Exploit algorithms.

Robotics long term goal: Improve upon current code to serve as a resource for the next team with emphasis on improving localization and implementing the Explore-and-Exploit algorithms.

4/13/17

Swarmathon is next week! Where has the time gone!? At today’s weekly research meeting, my team and I had a pep talk, pow wow, heart to heart or whatever you would like to call it. We first started the conversation by getting updates from everyone. My updates included the revamping of my blog. I realized that after my review of several of my entries that I had good information but it was just too short and it needed more! So I spent a couple of days adding more details to what already existed to meet the standards.Updates

Moving along from individuals updates, Daphne gave us focal points for the upcoming Swarmathon. She informed us that aside from the physical competition, we will have different people asking us questions about our contributions, what we enjoyed or what was most challenging to us.  Although most of us get nervous when being asked questions publicly, the key is to prepare. Members have all committed to develop some pre-planned answers as to what our contributions entailed.

As for me, I will not be able to attend the Swarmathon next week. For the past 3 months I have been going through trainings, workshops and daily practices to prepare for my upcoming Miss Fayetteville State University (FSU) pageant. The Miss of the university will serve as an ambassador for her campus and highlight a platform of her choice. She will be granted a scholarship as well as serve the community, the campus and network on a higher level than most students are afforded. Miss FSU will work closely with Mr. FSU and several other entities on valuable and pressing topics and goals. I’ve strategically planned since my freshman year to be in the place I am now as lucky contestant number 4 and I look forward to executing next weekcrown.

Balancing this pageant, school, internships and life in general has been very challenging but anything worth having does not come easy. I look forward to next week! I wish my teammates tremendous luck in their competition. I will bring home the crown and they will bring home the trophy (again).

Our future goal is to get back to the “basic.” We still have localization issues to work on, as well as improving the search and detection algorithm. I know for sure we will be doing more outdoor testing. For me personally, I have more thesis papers to read and summarize.

 

 

 

4/5/17

Daphne did  an excellent job on the composition of the Technical Report which has been successfully submitted! The final product was distributed to all members, including the advisor, before the submission. The team mutually agreed that they were satisfied with it and we are ready to move onto other objectives.completed

As a team we can now use this time to continue to revise our code how we wished to as well as find improvements to search and detection algorithms. We still have to face the localization issues.  Our goal is to get consistent test results and add our creativity to existing algorthims.

 

3/30/17

The High School Outreach Report has been completed and turned in! My personal contributions to the paper included describing the following situations:

  1. Describe exactly how the Swarmathon team participated in the outreach
  2. Explain how hands-on or interactive activities were used to engage the participants at their level of understanding

As a team we can now transition our attention to the Technical Report. Daphne, our team leader will be spearheading this report. Each member will be completing portions of the report and turning it in to her and in turn make it one cohesive paper. My specific tasks include 1. Summarizing the technical papers I read on my own 2. Replacing non-technical terms with the proper terms throughout the paper and 3. Serve as a peer editor.

On another note, our code submission date is tomorrow and we have been working endlessly on localization issues that arise. Our goal of turning in the Outreach Report has been met. Our upcoming goals include but are not limited to meeting with the two High School teams to finalized their code and help them meet their submission date as well as, producing code that improves search and detection within the robots.

3/23/17

This week’s focus is the composition of the two different types of Reports: Technical and High School Outreach. Each member will be contributing to the paper by focusing on a specific topics assigned by the team leader (Daphne or Xavier), more than likely 1-2 topics per person. Once all portions of the paper have been written, the team leader will combine them into one report.

I have been placed on the High School Outreach Report and will be assisting Xavier. I will be gathering my information for the report from the weekly High School meetings with Jack Britt and Terry Sanford. I plan to rely heavily on my meeting notes when I begin writing. During the 2 hour workshops, I was able to collect direct quotes from students as they presented their algorithms before the mentors, their peers and teachers, gather images of their work and get insight of their creativity.

In addition to, that I am still working step by step on the NetLogo modules. I am currently on chapter 3 of the 5. NetlogoMy experience this far with Netlogo has been great! It’s an interesting and easy way to learn simulation.

My future goals include completing the remaining modules and reading technical papers that can assist my team!

3/16/17

Although it is Spring Break for students, Swarm work still must be done! The Swarmathon team met to review robot behavior due to several inconsistent responses when collecting and returning cubes. Some robots took multiple attempts to pick up a cube and others had issues detecting the cube period. Once collected, a rover not in visual range of “home” should make a calculation based on their perception of the coordinates and then begin the journey to home.  We tested several versions of code and make revisions as needed. According to the sims that are being ran, the issue odd robotic behavior is present is just a matter of capturing it on the sim.

Aside from that, my personal goals including reading thesis papers to obtain technical information in regards to different types of algorithm implementation and continuing my NetLogo progress.  I will report back to my advisor and other members upon our return to school on what I have read. Below is a link to on of the papers I plan to read:

http://robotics.usc.edu/publications/media/uploads/pubs/98.pdf

3/9/17

Today’s meeting was broken down into two groups. One group that was focusing on Swarmathon code and getting ready for the upload date on the 31st. The other group, which I was a part of, was focused on this evening’s High School outreach workshop with Jack Britt and Terry Sanford. Each member prepared for this workshop by completing 5, or as many as possible, Netlogo modules so that we can in turn help students prepare for the virtual competition. At this point in time I was able to completed three modules in full and ready to move on to the third module. Other were paced about the same as myself, with the maximum about of modules completed being 4. I ran into a few issues when asked to create slides that affect the amount of certain objects. I was able to quickly fix them but some were left unsolved due to time.

My goals for the Outreach workshop is to help in any way that I can. I plan to provide meaningful observations and suggestions to the students and make good documentation that can later help in the formation of the Outreach report.

The Robotics goal is to continue testing methods and  make a small correction to the base code.

In addition to all these efforts, I am still continuing my research with several different thesis papers on the Virtual Pheromone algorithm that was discussed last week.

2/2/17 & 1/26/17

This week I was not able to attend our weekly research meeting due to another emergency meeting. However, I did schedule a private meeting with my advisor and my team leader to discuss what was missed and what was upcoming for the team.

From what I was told, an emphasis has been put on strict guidelines for the blogs from CREU. They are to be in depth and detailed. They stated that goals are to be set, issues and challenges should be documents and our progress as well. In addition to that, new members were added to the team to assist with Swarmathon goals. Students will be attending the upcoming Pipeline Conference and we look forward to hearing about it upon their return.