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REU Experiences

REU SRP Week 10

Week 10, 8/5-8/7.

This was my last week at the Nimbus Lab, UNL, and Nebraska. I had a wonderful experience and my prototype actually worked! Jacob programmed it Monday and we finished building it Tuesday and tested it that night and got some sweet video footage. Tuesday morning, I participated in a practice poster session and then in the afternoon Paul, Chris and I drove to Omaha and all passed our drone pilots exams! Wednesday was my last day in Lincoln, the symposium went really well for me and the banquet was a nice end to all.

Recreational activities this week: There was nooo time for that! I drove home Wednesday night and all day Thursday.

That is all!

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REU Experiences

REU SRP Week 9

Week 9, 7/29-8/2.

This week was spent building the prototype! It is all starting to come together, but…… I had a huge misfortune this week when the last 3D printed part I needed failed overnight. It was in the middle of a 23 hr print when I went to lab at midnight to check in on it. The print was fine when I left work at 6, but some unknown error caused a dislocation. This was the second time that this particular print failed this week and I was starting to lose hope. It will be left over the weekend and hopefully it will succeed when I come back next Monday. Here is a picture of the disaster…

Recreational activities this week: I went Rock Climbing at the Outdoor Adventure Center a few times, and even hit the gym once. This weekend I am going to the Sioux Falls Empire County Fair to see Keith Urban and Leann Rimes!

That is all for now, one more week to go!

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REU Experiences

REU SRP Week 8

Week 8, 7/22-7/26.

Parts arrived early this week, and additional supplies were ordered and will be here on Monday. The SolidWorks design is now complete (aside from one tiny detail that will be addressed after the physical model is built). I 3D printed a few parts and below is a picture of the puck tower and one puck bottom and lid. Over the weekend I will be printing more parts, and laser cutting some others. Next week I will have something built, programmed, and hopefully tested.

Recreational activities this week: I went Rock Climbing at the Outdoor Adventure Center twice this week. I am getting better at climbing, although I doubt that I have gotten any stronger yet. I played pool and guitar a few times this week as well. Thursday night, I went to the movie “Once Upon a Time In… Hollywood.” The movie was good overall, but a tad too long. The history behind the film is very interesting, and I would suggest doing some research before seeing the movie.

That is all for now, more to come in the following weeks!

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REU Experiences

REU SRP Week 7

Week 7, 7/15-7/19.

A few exciting things happened this week. I have been refining the SolidWorks file for the dispenser design and it is starting to come together! The picture is of the updated model and we ordered parts this week. As soon as the parts come in next week, I can put the prototype together and get everything programmed and ready for testing. Due to time constraints, we decided to take longer on the SolidWorks side of things in hopes that the first build will work on the first try (or with minor issues). We cannot afford any major failures in the design since there are only 3 weeks left!! I have also put together a draft of my poster for the research symposium at the end of the program.

Recreational activities this week: On Tuesday I went rock climbing and saw the movie Stuber. That movie was great! Super funny and a must see for the summer. Thursday evening, I drove to Omaha to go swimming with a friend and then went to Apple Bees for half apps before returning to Lincoln.

That is all for now, more to come in the following weeks!

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REU Experiences

REU SRP Week 6

Week 6, 7/8-7/12.

This week I mostly worked on my prototype design in SolidWorks. It is still in the early stages and looks fairly rough, but it is coming along. Parts will get ordered soon and I am currently 3D printing a few parts to make sure that they work in the physical world and not just in my head. Since time is coming down to wire, it looks like I will be spending my weekends building this thing so that I still have time to program and run tests. Poster and Paper deadlines are fast approaching, but I am optimistic that everything will work out according to plan.

Recreational activities this week: My roommate and I went to a place in town that sells Mexican ice cream and other ethnic treats. I don’t think Mexican candy is for me, however, I can’t handle to heat! I went to the movie Yesterday and I thought it was pretty good. Will most likely go bowling sometime this weekend.

That is all for now, more to come in the following weeks!

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REU Experiences Uncategorized

REU SRP Week 5

Week 5, 7/1-7/5.

This week was a short week as we had the 4th of July off. The Lab had a shipment come in for new work benches and I was able to haul them inside and set them up. I had fun building them and the Lab looks a lot better. I was able to get a good plan for the sensor dispenser started and will finish next week. I hope to start putting the prototype together by the end of next week.

Recreational activities this week: I went to Toy Story 4 and Spiderman: Far From Home. I also rode my motorcycle all weekend.

That is all for now, more to come in the following weeks!

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REU Experiences

REU SRP Week 4

Week 4, 6/24-6/28.

This week I read a lot of papers on Wireless Sensor Networks, Drone Payloads, Drone Delivery, and Deploying Sensor Networks. I organized the papers I had, took notes on the relevant information and drafted a Literature Review of the topics. I started brainstorming ideas for the dispenser design and began modelling in solid works. Wednesday morning, we had a mock symposium where we learned about designing a good research poster and then listened to some presentations of graduate students on their work.  

Recreational activities this week: On Tuesday, I went to Men in Black: International with a group. We were celebrating someone’s birthday. I climbed a few days this week as well, and I made it to the top of one of the walls. I visited an old High School friend in Sioux Falls, SD over the weekend and had a great time.

That is all for now, more to come in the following weeks!

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REU Experiences

REU SRP Week 3

Week 3, 6/17-6/21.

This week went by faster than usual. On Monday I passed my flight test for the Hubsans, so now I am able to practice on the hummingbirds once one becomes available and operational. I have officially been assigned to a project for the remainder of the program and I could not be happier with the opportunity that Nimbus Lab’s is providing me. This summer, I will be working with Jacob to develop a prototype to attach to the bottom of a drone. We will be using a DJI Matirce 600 for the job, as it is the largest drone that Nimbus has available. I am unsure how much information about the project I can share in this blog post, but for now I will just say that the attachment will transport and deploy some sort of payload.

I uninstalled SolidWorks 2016 from my home institution so that I could install SolidWorks 2018 from UNL. Now anything that I create can be shared and edited by Jacob. I also installed Arduino IDE and ran a few basic programs to make sure that everything is working properly. I no longer need to do ROS tutorials for my new project, instead I will be learning how to use Arduino IDE.

My Lit Review has been going slow, but now that I know my project, I can better focus my searches to narrow down relevant papers. The draft is due next Thursday, so hopefully I’ll be able to find enough information.

Recreational activities this week: Jazz in June was yet again moved to the Bourbon Theatre due to rain. I, however, did not attend this week as I had a visitor from home visit me for a couple days. I passed my skills check for climbing Monday after work and I went climbing three times this week and even went to the gym with a friend. Thursday evening, a small group of us went to Rocketman for student night. The movie was good, but an emotional rollercoaster. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who is a fan of Elton John.

That is all for now, more to come in the following weeks!

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REU Experiences

REU SRP Week 2

Week 2, 6/10-6/14.

This week I finished CITI Program training and made it to the half way point of the beginner ROS tutorials. I have been steadily improving on the Hubsan drones but unfortunately was not able to take the flight test this week (almost all the batteries were dead!!). Monday is the new target day for my flight test, and then hopefully I will be able to start learning on the Hummingbirds.

I also did some soul searching to help figure out what project I would like to work on this summer. Stay tuned, because I will reveal the project next week!! I have started reading some literature on three potential topics but am leaning heavily towards one in particular.

I slacked a bit on studying for FAA part 107, but next week I will pick it up again and start preparing for the exam. I hope to be certified by the end of the program, maybe I’ll even buy a small drone when I return home.

My plans for next week include, but are not limited to: continue ROS tutorials, begin Lit Review, graduate from Hubsans, and more.

Recreational activities this week: Jazz in June was moved to the Bourbon Theatre due to rain. I enjoyed some wonderful jazz from brazil and almost got soaked walking back to campus. Wednesday evening, I played pool for hours and practiced some guitar. I went to a karaoke bar on Thursday but didn’t stay long. Friday night has officially become Smash night as Jake is hosting another Smash Bros event. Sunday, Paul and I are taking a class together on rock climbing which should be a lot of fun.

That is all for now, more to come in the following weeks!

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REU Experiences

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!