Showing posts from 2015

On Proposing Research Ideas

I spent the last month assisting my advisors on writing an NSF research proposal. It was one of my most exhausting and educational experiences ever.

It all happened slowly through some random tasks I got assigned. Some tasks seemed trivial and even useless at the time, but it all made sense when we worked on the complete proposal draft.  It started with writing a "brain dump" of all ideas we have been iterating over the past 4-6 months. Then, it got interesting.

The Interesting Platform (Motivation, use cases, existing problems)
The brain dumb is often too technical as I spent time going through related work and defining interesting problems, what people are working on, and where I stand in all of that. This all does not cut it unless there is a clear use case. A scenario where all proposed research ideas are employed to make something "cool" happen.

The idea of how such use cases look like went through several phases:
1) When I started working on the project and I…

DARPA Robotics Challenge

DARPA Robotics Challenge Finals 2015 took place at Fairplex (Pomona, California). The event included an expo with tons of robotics shows and even some booths where you can play around with the robots. The competition took place on 4 tracks each with a replica of the challenge stage. 
The tracks:

The winners: Team KIAST making it look way too easy with Hubo

Running man, a robot with an attitude and a large cheering squad, walking on rubble for the win.
Chimp leaving at its own terms .. like a true champion.
Random moments:

The expo and the demos: