Week 4

On Monday and Tuesday, I largely dedicated my time to finishing the Crazyflie integration. I had been at the point where I was very close to getting it to the point I wanted to, just there were a few errors almost every time I fixed one. Monday, we had a focus group with some of the people from UNL that asked us about our program, mentors, and experiences so far. After that we met with Dr. Sebastian Elbaum to check in with our projects. He was able to give suggestions to all of us in order to help get us out of our ruts if we were stuck. By Tuesday I finally got my Crazyflie to hover! …well, sort of. The script was written so that the drone would take off and hover at 0.5 meters above the ground. Mine took off to about 0.5 meters but slightly drifted towards the left until it was caught in the net. This may have looked like a fail to many, but it was a huge win for me! I finished up the day Tuesday with a good feeling about my Crazyflie’s progress.

Tuesday night, we participated in trivia again, taking home a grand prize of $40. It was a fun time to celebrate the progress I’ve made. Before we came into the lab the next morning, the REU program hosted another seminar, this time about poster presentations. The REU program hosts a poster session at the end of each summer. I will sadly not be here to present mine, as I came a week early so I will depart a week early. I will still make a poster and have it displayed at the symposium, though. So this meeting helped us know the best format and presentation style for academic posters. Pretty soon after that meeting, we had another with Dr. Bradley to talk about academic papers. He helped us understand the best ways to find them, read them, and cite them. Throughout the rest of the day Wednesday, I struggled with my Crazyflie. I was at a point that I couldn’t understand the problems with the drone. Before, I was struggling when I would see some errors come up. Now, the drone was working great according to the system, but in reality it still had some quirks.

Wednesday proved to be an extremely productive day for me. I had gotten to a point where I didn’t how to move forward since I was not receiving errors but it still wasn’t working. But on Wednesday, Dr. Bradley assigned Andrew, another REU student, to work with me on the project. Andrew was going to help me get to a point where he could take over and start a different project with the Crazyflies. I was very skeptical at first, but I soon realized that what I really needed at that point was a new prospective. Since Andrew was not as familiar with the Crazyflies as I was, he asked a lot of questions that I had not thought of. We started implementing some of the ideas he had thrown out, like taking the frame off the Crazyflie to make it lighter or testing what the nodes were sending out to the drone. We continued this experimenting throughout Thursday and Friday, just trying to find out where the problems where rising from and how we could solve them. Even though most of our ideas didn’t help, it was really nice to have Andrew working with me now.

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