Older blog entries for jlin (starting at number 2)

8 Mar 2005 (updated 11 May 2005 at 21:06 UTC) »

I keep meaning to post again but just have been so busy!

My team's now registered to be at American Open in May. Unfortunately it is during the students' exam period so not many of them will be able to come along.

We have a website up now at http://www.smokinjays.org. The videos and pictures are from 2001, but hopefully we'll have new ones soon.

The students have been very self-motivated, much more so than I expected they would be. We hope to get a demo ready by after their spring break.

The really really amazing thing is we did end up getting qualified for this year's RoboCup in Osaka. The students would really like to go as do I, but we're going to have to work really hard on getting funding to go since we didn't expect to qualify. We seem to be a doing a good job of staying on schedule to be able to have a team ready, though.

My personal goals is to have a more sophisticated strategy system. Coming from CMU's small-sized team, I really enjoy working on the multi-agent learning and cooperation. I really hope I can introduce that to mid-size as well through Hopkins's team. I hope to write a play learning module for the team. I'm also trying to coordiate cooperation between these two teams through Jim Bruce, creator of ERRT path-planning and CMVision.

Well, it looks like I did it. I have gotten enough interest to restart a RoboCup team at The Johns Hopkins University.

We will be doing the mid-sized league. At the meeting last night, there were around thirty students who showed up. I tried to emphasize that it would have to be a decent time commitment, but most of all it requires a lot of self-motivation to set aside time to come into the lab yourself and work on stuff. At the end of the night, I ended up with twelve undergraduate students and two graduate students who decided they wanted to commit themselves to the team. They seem to mostly be CS people but there were also a few MechEs and ECEs, all of which I find necessary to compete in this league.

The next step for me is to secure funding for the team. We will certainly need it for parts for the robots, travel, entrance fees, and shipping the robots. (Any suggestions?) Supposedly we already have some old equipment and even a large lab space left over from the last time JHU entered. I wonder what condition everything is in... My expectations are not high, but it would be nice to have something that was at least working, no matter how slow or outdated it is.

Also, now I get to figure out how to balance a full-time job, take a class or two for part-time grad school, and do this. Advising a dozen undergraduates by myself and probably doing a large portion of the coding for the team is going to be interesting...

22 Nov 2004 (updated 2 Dec 2004 at 15:00 UTC) »

I have now entered the real world, but sadly, at a job that doesn't currently involve robotics. I am hoping my company will eventually bid on robotics projects (my boss is pretty supportive of me pursuing robotics even though we don't work on it yet) or I will be able to switch to a company that does robotics, but meanwhile, I am trying to start a RoboCup team at The Johns Hopkins University.

I miss doing robotics research. I miss doing RoboCup. Luckily, I was able to find Prof. Greg Hager, who was interested in restarting RoboCup at JHU. The last time they entered was in 2001(?) in the mid-sized league. At that point the only two mid-sized teams from North/Central/South America were CMU and JHU. Now there are none.

To try to get interest, I gave a talk at JHU last Thursday. The students seemed decently interested. =)

I am hoping to convince Hager that we should start in the Legged League instead of reentering mid-sized, but I'm not sure if it's going to work. We'll see. But either way, I think I will end up doing at least some robotics research somehow.

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