Favorite and least favorite part of being team lead?
I most enjoy being able to watch so many individual projects fuse together successfully (not without a bit of blood, sweat, and tears) to create a capable submarine — or two. Least favorite part would probably be the email volume.
I’m currently working for a student startup, Stash, which I cofounded with Rahul Shah here at Cornell, and I plan to continue with that after graduation.
My freshman summer at TRANSDEC, with Gemini, when we decided before the final run to modify the mission code and tell the sub to attempt some untested tasks once it had accumulated just enough points to win. The extended mission didn’t work — actually, the sub misjudged the position of an element and ran into a wall — but as a result we learned quite clearly how we wanted to update our software design in the future. It was also rather entertaining.
Words of wisdom / advice?
Talk and debate — the more, the better — with AUV members on other subteams, especially those working on projects which interface with your own, even if they don’t have deep expertise in your engineering discipline. They frequently can offer a different perspective and suggest ideas or workarounds you may not have thought of.
I joined AUV because it was an opportunity to use my computer science abilities in ways that I couldn't in class. I wanted to work in a large team as opposed to partners or individually, to collaborate with mechanical and electrical engineers, and to explore robotics, something I wasn't able to do in high school. I love seeing my work actually mean something other than a grade, whether that's making updates to print the sub on the screen or fine-tuning the physical movements of the sub as it completes a mission.
What is your current project on the team?
I'm working on the bins and navigate tasks. The bins task requires that the sub drops two markers into one of two bins (for maximum points), uncovers the covered bin, and then drops the markers into the previously uncovered bin. The navigate task is much simpler; the sub just needs to pass through a "field goal.” We get extra points for doing this with "style" though!
Who or what is your greatest inspiration?
I'm inspired by the other members of the software subteam. Everyone knows so much and is so helpful, and as someone who only started coding last year as a freshman, they're great examples to look up to and aspire to be.
Why did you join CUAUV and what is your favorite part about it?
I joined AUV for many reasons. It was primarily because I wanted a hands on experience in mechanical engineering and AUV seemed like one of the best teams out there to acquire that experience. The thought of building a robotic submarine also seemed a little more unique to me than other project teams. Also, after I watched the 2014 competition video at the info session, I knew I had to apply!
What is your current project and what is the progress on it?
My current project is the downward manipulator on Thor as well as the custom pneumatic pistons that power it. I enjoy the challenge of this project because there some heavy space constraints on the size of the sub that lead me to implement a "scissor arm" that hasn't really been tried before. I really hope it works out alright.
Any cool summer plans?
I was planning on an internship, but then I realized that staying with AUV would be a blast, so that's what I'm doing instead.
CUAUV headed to Lynah Rink for an ice skating social this past weekend. The team was excited to celebrate their progress manufacturing Thor and Loki. Stay tuned for weekly updates as our team approaches our in-water deadline!
Come swim with Argo from the comfort of your own home. Watch as our 2015 vehicle Argo completes a mock RoboSub competition run at Teagle Pool at Cornell University. The event will feature live color commentary, special guests, and lots of surprises! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YnuhChx6i3Y
The team joined many other Cornell student projects for the Bits On Our Mind showcase in March. We got the chance to show off our past and present vehicles, engage with other student innovators, and interact with the community. We were inspired by the innovative and collaborative atmosphere of the event, and even got some time in the spotlight. Check out a video recapping the event that features CUAUV and members Ricardo Stephen '18 and Jonathan Chan '18.