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Protei: Open Source Sailing Drones

Protei was an open source sailboat developed with a diverse team of artists and engineers at the V2_ Institute for the Unstable Media. After a month-long collaborative rapid prototypign and design process, this Protei prototype was developed with a unique flexible hull and a novel actuator design, with the intent of tugging a long, oil absorbent tail through small oil spills. I was also personally responsible for developing system firmware, motor control, and sensor feedback. More details of our design process and the final sailboat can be found in our handbook.

Other academic projects

Recursive Augmented Reality Image Processing System

6.111 (FPGA Laboratory) final project, with José Cruz Serralés.
Abstract:
We have implemented an augmented reality system that can overlay a digital image on a video stream of a real world environment. We read NTSC video data from a video camera and store it in external ZBT memory. A picture frame with colored markers on the corners is held in front of the camera. We then perform chroma-based object recognition to locate the coordinates of the corners. Using these coordinates, we apply a projective transformation to project an image onto the dimensions of the picture frame. From this, we generate a VGA output signal, display the original captured image, with the processed image overlayed on top of the picture frame. By using the previously displayed video frame as the image to be projected on the next frame, the system becomes "recursive."
Read the paper.
Source code on Github.

Trajectory Planning for Underwater Gliders

6.832 (Underactuated Robotics) final project
Abstract:
The "underwater glider" is a highly useful underactuated robotic system. In this project, we analyze a two dimensional "planar underwater glider," with just one degree of actuation. By using rapidly exploring random trees, we are able to find feasible trajectories from one physical lo- cation to another. We then apply non-linear optimization techniques to the feasible trajectory to find efficient, low-power routes through the sea.
Read the paper.

Universal Waste: A Victorious MASLAB Robot

Part of the 2012 champion team, with Josh Gordonson, David Lawrence, Martin Lozano, and Jacob Hurwitz

Separations

By Paula Countouris and Logan Williams.

Introduction

Separations was an interactive art installation created in April of 2010 for Steer Roast. The project incorporates sensors, lights, and physical objects to create an immersive environment for communication and relaxation.

Video

Implementation Details

Separations used 11 photoresistive sensors, positioned uniformly on the walls of the room, to receive information on light levels. This data was processed by an Arduino microcontroller, and transmitted to a laptop computer. The computer used Python to communicate with a Color Kinetics power supply. All lights in the room, except the fluorescent light in the table, were Color Kinetics lights.