Student-Faculty Programs Office
Summer 2017 Announcements of Opportunity

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Project:  Swarm Spacecraft Testbed Robot Design and Control
Disciplines:  Aeronautics, Space Engineering
Mentor:  Soon-Jo Chung, Associate Professor of Aerospace and Bren Scholar, (EAS),
Mentor URL:  (opens in new window)
Background:  This project is two-fold. One project focuses on the design of robots on the HockeyBot spacecraft testbed. This testbed is a large table that shoots out jets of air, so that small robots may float above the surface. These robots will mimic spacecraft, allowing us to test multi-agent spacecraft guidance and control algorithms. The robots will need 2 degrees of translational freedom and one degree of rotational freedom, which can be achieved through many methods. When fully operational, the testbed will have up to 10 robots working together to complete a task like multi-agent construction. Another aspect of the project is to design and implement the on-board computer for control and vision-based sensing for Caltech's 6-DOF microsatellite simulators moving on the state-of-the-art high-precision flat floor.
Description:  The student will be performing tasks related to the project depending on interest, experience and skill set. Tasks include but are not limited to: 1) Performing a systems engineering trade study for overall robot design, actuator type and location, etc. 2) Creating a functioning prototype robot, 3) Designing and testing a multi-agent spacecraft simulation in Matlab/Simulink and/or Robot Operating System (ROS) environment (C++/Python), 4) Completing a Hardware in the Loop test of the prototype robot, 5) Developing electronics and controllers for the air-bearing platforms, 6) Programming a robotic manipulator for various tasks, 7) Helping design repeatable experiments for demonstration, etc.
Student Requirements:  Suggested skills are listed below:
Good understanding of differential equations, dynamics and control theory.
Experience with Matlab and Simulink
Experience with C++ and ROS
Good critical thinking and problem solving ability
Good hands-on skills for hardware work

Programs:  This AO can be done under the following programs:

  Program    Available To
       Amgen Scholars    Non-Caltech students only  
       SURF    both Caltech and non-Caltech students 

Click on a program name for program info and application requirements.

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Problems with or questions about submitting an AO?  Call Jen Manglos of the Student-Faculty Programs Office at (626) 395-2885.
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