Starting two years ago UCI began helping High School teams participate in a competition called rescue robotics. The competition is broken into two separate groups: ground and airborne vehicles. The goal of the competition is to create vehicles that can autonomously locate objects in a preset type of terrain and take pictures of the correct objects. The competition is meant to simulate the real life scenario of locating distressed individuals in need of rescue. We as a team are responsible for building a quadcopter capable of doing these tasks months before the actual competition and then teach what we have learned to local high school teachers. We are here to not only design a full working system from the ground up, but also to spread what we have learned to the community to get more people involved. The project is focused heavily around the design of the system and around the autonomous mode coding. Throughout the year we will build and code the quadcopter to achieve all the goals of the competition as well as give lectures to local teachers once to twice a quarter. All engineering majors are needed as there are many different aspects to our project.
The objective of our team is to create an autonomously controlled quadcopter capable of tracking and finding various objects in a predetermined terrain. The quadcopters goal is to locate and take a picture of the correct object for each section of the competition. The UAV must be capable of distinguishing objects from each other. As the competition is for high school teams, our goal is to complete the project milestones far enough ahead so that we can teach what we learn to high school teachers. The main goal for us as students is to troubleshoot and solve every roadblock we encounter so the high school teams will have the required knowledge to build this complicated project within their limited time frame. Overall, Rescue Robotics as an organization is attempting to become the leading experts in the field of autonomously controlled robots specializing in search and rescue. We are trying to make orange county a knowledge bank on Autonomous Robotics where anyone can come and learn from our research. Along the way we will learn valuable practical engineering skills and become experts in multiple fields relating to our project.
Our quadcopter combines modern cameras with new imaging software that allows our UAV to be trained to track the colors of different objects. Capable of tracking dozens of different bodies by their differentiation in color we will be able to pick probable targets to further investigate. This will both save us time and energy in deciding which objects could be the “correct” objects in each leg of the competition and in applications in real life scenarios.
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