Robotics masters | U Daily
“The MSR program is an interdisciplinary program that gives you everything you need to be successful in robotics and controls,” said Artemiadis. “Ten years ago robotics was something that was taught in mechanical engineering departments, and then we realized that with artificial intelligence and computer science, all the different fields involved had to be exposed to the idea. robotics and control systems. “
This interdisciplinary nature allowed the students of the program to spend their spring semester on UD’s Hugh R. Sharp campus in Lewes working with Art Trembanis, professor in the School of Marine Science and Policy, in Robotics Discovery Laboratories.
Trembanis was going to use one of Seafloor Systems’ EchoBoats over the summer for a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) project looking for wrecks in the Great Lakes, and he wanted to see if during the spring semester, they could implement new software and hardware on the boat to help her in her summer research.
Together with Trembanis and Marcos Barrera, chief robotics research engineer and AI at Seafloor Systems, the students helped implement new software and hardware features on the robot boat.
This had the dual benefit of allowing students to have a hands-on learning opportunity interacting with an industry professional, while also allowing Seafloor Systems to test new technologies on their product.
Barrera said Seafloor Systems is interested in partnering with UD and the MSR program to help spur innovation by bringing together a diverse group of minds and ideas.
“One of the reasons we work with research institutes like UD is that we want to advance hydrographic research and marine robotics through our technology,” Barrera said. “The UD Master of Robotics program and its affiliation with the Center for Autonomous and Robotic Systems (CARS) presents our R&D (Research and Development) team with the challenges encountered during field research and allows us to experiment alongside and ideally inspire future roboticists to bring their energy and ideas to meet these challenges.
Trembanis echoed these thoughts, saying students learn each week how robotics exists in the real world instead of working on robotics only in the lab.
“These internships work very well because the industry, even though they are larger companies, has limited internal funds for research and development. They don’t want to spend money on something that doesn’t work, ”Trembanis said. “We become a great opportunity for them to try something that could be high risk and very rewarding because even if it doesn’t work, we are going to learn something. “
Trembanis added that it also becomes a long-term interview for students on business and vice versa.
Owen Li, one of four MSR students who worked with Seafloor Systems in the spring and obtained his undergraduate degree in computer science at UD, said it was a great experience because although he is interested in robotics, he didn’t have the opportunity to work directly with a real-world robotics company.
“The robotics master’s program helped me a lot with basic robotics knowledge,” Li said. “I was a computer science student before, and when entering the program, I didn’t have too much experiences and knowledge in robotics. “
Li said his favorite part of working on the project was learning more about robot boats, something he had never worked on before this experience.
“We were setting up the EchoBoat with a mission planning system, and at the end of the semester everything worked successfully and we uploaded our code,” Li said. ‘at the dock and tested it on the water, we were so excited every time we did it. “
Artemiadis said he plans to have around 30 students in the program this fall – which would almost triple the size of the program compared to the nine students they had in the spring – and hopes to continue offering these unique industrial internships from one semester to program students.
“Giving students the opportunity to actually work for a company for a semester is unique because it gives them the experience of what the industry really wants, and it teaches them what they need to learn and what they really need to be. focus, ”Artemiadis said. “I think this is one of the unique opportunities that we offer: doing the internship and then getting an offer from a company or just putting in your CV that you worked 6 months or a year with that company, that is. is great.