Friday October 23rd found us hosting the 2nd annual Symposium for Unmanned Systems at CSU Channel Islands. The program began in the Petite Salon on the North Quad of our CSUCI campus, where several panels gave presentations on their individual disciplines/industries. Between panels, our group recessed outside where there were several display booths. President Rush was the opening keynote speaker, and gave several insights toward the university’s commitment to using Remotely Piloted Systems (RPS) for both education, and research. Furthermore he stressed the importance of STEM education, and stated the intent of the university to start an engineering school, working in conjunction with the current efforts in robotics.
There were multiple talks about environmental, agricultural and emergency responses uses of unmanned vehicles. We had a nice array of distinguished organizations including AeroVironment, the Naval Post-Graduate School, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department. Our own professor Sean Anderson spoke on behalf of the research that he and CSUCI students have been conducting. Dr. Anderson talked about the marine ecology and coral bio-fluorescence research using ROVs (see video below), the aerial mapping of natural resources in the Cook Islands, the May 2015 Refugio Oil Spill in Santa Barbra, and the other projects that our PIRatE Lab carries out on a continual basis. His central argument was that RPS are useful tools for bettering our understanding and monitoring of our natural (and built) environment, and that they can be used to help mitigate environmental degradation and save peoples’ lives, especially in the wake of natural disasters.
The outside demonstrations were primarily comprised of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department (Search and Rescue and Bomb Squad) and our AARR team’s UAV and ROV units.