REU SRP Week 1

Week 1, 6/3-6/7.

My name is Andrew Dalbol, I am a Mechanical Engineering major from the University of Jamestown, ND. I am excited for my summer here at Nimbus Labs, attached to Memorial Stadium located on the beautiful University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus. Since the first week was orientation, each morning was filled with informational presentations and tours of campus and the surrounding area.

Nimbus labs is part of the Unmanned Systems SRP at UNL, and this was where I spent my afternoons. I started the week by setting up a virtual machine from VirtualBox and installed Ubuntu followed by ROS. This process embarrassingly took longer than I would like to admit and after several frustrating hours, my VM was finally up and running. Jake helped me improve the performance of the VM, and I have thankfully not had any issues since!

I started working through the ROS tutorials and made my very own interactive turtle and named him Jeffrey. ROS training has been put on hold for now as I have prioritized CITI Program training since my research project will involve Human Subjects.

I have also been studying for the FAA part 107 exam to get my federally issued drone pilots license, as well as practicing my flight skills in the Cage. My first flight was very wobbly, but with just 20 min a day, I have finally persuaded the drone to hover in place for almost 30 seconds. Hopefully by the end of week two, I will be able to pass the in-house flight skills test.

Onto a few recreational activities that I partook in this week. Jazz-in-June, every Tuesday there is a free concert in the Sheldon sculpture gardens, something I will most definitely take in every week. Went to the outdoor picnic and met other students in the other programs, went bowling at Hollywood Lanes shot pool with new friends. Played guitar, a lot, got caught up on Game of Thrones. Etc. There is so much to do in Lincoln, would recommend a visit.

Lastly, throughout all programs, this REU has fostered an amazing community of game nights, friendship, and comradery. This campus has welcomed me in and made me feel at home in just one short week. More to come in the following weeks!

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