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Robotics Takes Center Stage During Annual Campus Research Fair

Article By: MCSN Danica M. Sirmans

Robots of every shape, size and purpose dotted the academic quad as the Naval Postgraduate School’s Consortium for Robotics and Unmanned Systems Education and Research (CRUSER) once again hosted their annual Robots in the Roses Research Fair, Apr. 11.

The annual event brings the campus community together to spotlight existing research projects throughout every department, encouraging maximum collaboration across the university.

“Robots in the Roses is wonderful because you get a chance to meet interested students and show them some interesting devices,” said Steven Jacobs of the physics department. “It’s great exposure to the community … It helps put our department out there and really helps to showcase what we’ve been working on.”

Researchers displayed robotics platforms large and small – everything from bird-like bots that seek out and ride upon thermals, to small-unmanned watercraft capable of sensing threats in harbors.

“Robots in the Roses is an annual event that allows faculty and students to showcase their research in unmanned systems … and present them to the broader community,” said CRUSER Director, retired Navy Capt. Jeff Kline.  “It’s on one-hand very useful for the students to come out and see the variety of the things that are going on, but it’s also very good for the faculty to see what other faculty members are doing in order to find opportunities for collaboration.”

CRUSER Director for Research and Education Dr. Timothy Chung was recently awarded he prestigious Hamming Award for his work interdisciplinary work in robotics and technology. He too sees the annual event as an opportunity for collaboration and exploration.

“While CRUSER stands for Consortium for Robotics and Unmanned Systems Education and Research, in general terms, it’s an environment or forum for us foster collaboration in the areas of unmanned systems and robotics,” said Chung.

 A group of NPS students listens to a research presentation by one of their peers during the Robots in the Roses Research Fair, April 11. The annual research and technology demonstration provides a forum for the campus to share relevant work, ensuring maximum collaboration across all departments in the fields of robotics and autonomous systems.

Dr. Kevin D. Jones, a Research Associate Professor in the mechanical and aerospace engineering department, a third-year participant, noted he appreciates the opportunity to network with his colleagues. He sees the value in sharing research amongst fellow faculty and students.

“Robots are a lot like living creatures in the sense that they are all made up of the same primary building blocks,” Jones said. “Living organisms have more similar DNA components than they do those that differ. The same can be said for robots.

“Robots in the Roses is a great way to get us all together from all our respective types of robotics to appreciate our similarities along with our differences,” he added.

NPS’ Consortium for Robotics and Unmanned Systems Education and Research provides a collaborative environment and community of interest for the advancement of unmanned systems education and research endeavors across the Navy, Marine Corps and Department of Defense. Along with Robots in the Roses, the group coordinates several innovation workshops in addition to regular campus meetings and consistent communications to a broad community of interested stakeholders.

Posted April 12, 2013

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