Freedom & Violence

Dallas Police Chief David Brown collects himself while talking about Thursday night's shooting during a news conference Friday in Dallas. Image: Mark Mulligan / Associated Press.
Dallas Police Chief David Brown collects himself while talking about Thursday night’s shooting during a news conference Friday in Dallas.  Image: Mark Mulligan / Associated Press.

The realization of an epidemic of police violence, racial/economic inequality, and deep-seated divisiveness across our country that has been growing for the past year and half exploded last night in Dallas.  The soul searching and groping for ways to move forward has been helped along thanks in no small part to technology. Continue reading

Everyone can build these days

The Paxmobile!
The Paxmobile!

The array of robotic platforms and control systems is truly staggering these days.  No more so than at the potential entry points for those of us who are “non-experts” but who can see the value in such technologies. Continue reading

Tinsel Town Tech

Drones at Hollywood’s Premiere Technology Event

CineGear June 2016

Cine Gear

Cine Gear Expo is an annual technology event by and for Hollywood’s entertainment industry. The Expo returned to the historic Paramount Studios lot for its 21st outing from June 2-5, 2016. Cine Gear primarily targets behind the scenes film and television artists and technicians who sculpt and create the images we eventually see on screens small to large. The focal point for this meeting is the wide-ranging Expo wherein hundreds of exhibitors showcase their latest offerings. Cine Gear also offers numerous exhibitions, seminars, workshops, and film screenings. Continue reading

Which Map Do You Like Best?

We are nearing the release of our 2016 Drone Poll Results!!!

By way of prep, I am curious as to what you all think about our potential mapping output formats.  The underlying data represented in these draft graphs isn’t important at this point.  Rather, I am curious as to which you all think is the best representation of geospatial data for the web: Continue reading

Tim Takes First!

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Dr. A, CSU Chancellor Dr. Timothy White, and future Autonomous Car Challenge winner Tim Holcombe showing Chancellor White our ESRM Tech Lab on May 10, 2016.

Our AARR Team‘s secret Computer Science weapon–Tim Holcombe–proved his robotic chops today during his final exam/competition for our COMP 462: Embedded Systems class.

Autonomous Car Challenge

Robotic CarCSU Channel Islands’ newest Computer Science professor (and fellow AARR Team member) Dr. Jason Isaacs created our first ever Autonomous Car Challenge for the students in his COMP 462 course this year.  Students were provided with the basic specifications for a default autonomous car platform.  They had to work in teams of two to create a working unit that could sense the environment and navigate itself through the course.  In this case that course was the first floor corridors of our new Sierra Hall laboratory building (home to both ESRM and Computer Science).  The students had to run their creations through time trial races through the building using only the sensors mounted on the vehicle and control algorithms that they themselves had written.

In the words of Dr. Isaacs;

Tim’s team won the race by using a really risky strategy but it worked.  The second place team had a very nice design that worked very consistency.  Some of the other teams struggled but they put in a ton of effort.  It just goes to show that it wasn’t as easy as the winning teams made it look.

Open-Ended Challenges

Tim 1st Place
Autonomous Car Challenge 2016 winners James Allen and Tim Holcombe.

This type of project-based, experiential learning is a hallmark of how we engage with our students here at CSUCI generally and with our AARR student-driven projects in particular.  Congrats to Tim and all the Embedded Systems students!

FAA Lets Students Fly!

May the 4th Be With Us

Apparently the FAA is populated by Star Wars fans as they took this unofficial Star Wars Day to give a huge nod of support to students learning to loose their earthly gravitational bonds.

FAA Memo picThe announcement at the AVUSI conference in New Orleans was made with typical FAA understatement.  Most in attendance were hoping the long, long, looooooong awaited new regulations freeing up the hands of general public operators of Small Unmanned Aerial Systems (sUAS) was upon them.  The proverbial 333 boot was not lifted from the neck of routine, responsible drone operators, but we educators did get a present: a new, formal interpretation classifying routine educational users of drones as “hobbyists.”  This greatly reduces the restriction on teaching-related endeavors that utilize flying robots, finally bringing drones into the realm of reality for vast swaths of America’s educators.
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Drone Fishing

Drone fishing tuna from the Beach. Image: Sea Ulcer Aerial Media.
Drone fishing tuna from the Beach. Image: Sea Ulcer Aerial Media.

 

As someone who often does way too much and who has his hands in way too many pies at any one time, I am used to doing one project today and then a totally separate endeavor the next.  But with an increasingly disturbing regularity, my “separate” worlds appear to be merging.  Case in point was my painting delivery service/water quality research/family friends confab this weekend.

 

Drone Fishing

Another case in point is the growing use of drones for all manner of things related to coastal and marine management.  We are doing lots of this ourselves (e.g. helping folks with limited resources better inventory their coastal resources or working to help measure and bolster the much-in-need-of-improvement sustainability of our seafood harvest), but the amount of innovative ideas never ceases to amaze me: Continue reading

sUSB Expo 2016

SUSB Poster 2016This week I had the pleasure of attending my first Small Unmanned Systems Business Exposition in San Francisco’s Presidio.  This annual confab of the drone industry is hosted by sUAS News and the brainchild of its head honcho Patrick Egan.  I am usually not a big fan of industry meetings and wasn’t entirely sure what to expect.  But by the first coffee break on day one, I could tell this was a different kind of get together and was already exceeding my expectations. Continue reading

Fun in the Sun – Discovery and Education with Underwater Robots

20160314_102525It all began with a box filled with PVC pipe, some dedicated AARR students from our B-WET-funded Crossing the Channel Mentoring Program at CSUCI and the very curious students of Robert J. Frank Intermediate School who participate in Ms. Meza’s Oceanography classes (4th and 7th period).  For two weeks this past month, these students learned the history of unmanned underwater exploration through the use of Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs) and how they are helpful for conducting scientific research in areas that are difficult or dangerous for SCUBA divers to reach. This enriching information was presented to aid them in developing ideas for their own research with this technology. Continue reading

Polling further solidifies CSUCI’s prominence within UAV community

Camarillo, Calif., March 14, 2016— Have you ever operated an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle?  How do you feel about law enforcement using UAVs or drones?  How about universities? Movie studios?

 

These are some of the questions on a public poll on UAVs—also called drones—that is currently being run by the Aerial and Aquatic Robotic Research (AARR) Group at CSU Channel Islands (CI).

Class Indoor flight training with a DJI Inspire (model 1), Spring 2015.
ESRM 370 indoor flight training with a DJI Inspire (model 1), Spring 2015.

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