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akshayjournal

Background

My name is Akshay Dave, and I am a third-year undergraduate student doing mechanical engineering. Right now I am in Korea doing research at KAIST's HUBO Lab. This my blog

Week 1: 06/10/19 - 06/17/19

1. Photo of the week

The biggest thing this week was that Hubo lab has a mark forged 3D Printer. it can print with carbon fiber. The reason it made me super excited was that I never used a printer like this before. I always wanted to learn how to use it. Also, Dr.Park is buying Stratasys 3d printer. Its industrial grade top of the quality 3D printer and I hope I can learn how to use it.

We also meet his students and we had a wonderful Korean lunch with them.

2. New person that I met

I really like to read comics and I love superhero books. I wanted to go to a comic book shop but I could not find any on google maps. One day coincidently, while I was exploring the city I saw a tiny book store. There was a tiny entrance which led to a basement. At first, I was a little scared because it looked really ghetto place. But I met a really nice lady who did not speak any English. It took me 15 min to explain that I am looking for Marvel comics. in the end, I found two great comics which are really rare to find in the USA. When I was about to check out, the lady came up to me and gave me a 2-3 feet long poster of all the Marvel superhero and she also gave me a drink which had a marvel branding it. I believe she figured out that I really like Marvel.

3. What new cultural insight about Korea did you learn this week?

For some reason, all the Korean bus driver and taxi driver are older people and they just scream at drivers who block there way. Another thing I learned was how to take buses in Korea and how young people are expected to stand.

4. What did you learn about yourself?

I was really scared to communicate with people and I thought it would take a long time for me to open up but in Korea, its lot simpler, I still don't know why.

5. What is the status of your technical projects and what skills did you learn?

I am working with Mark( He is the preception person for hubo). I am helping him to setup Nvidia Jetson. Which will eventually replace hubo vision pc. With that, I am also working to get unity setup here. My goal is to import vision data into unity. Right now people who do teleoperation with hubo are not in the lab. I am meeting them after they come back form conference

Week 2: 06/10/19 - 06/24/19

1. Photo of the week

One of the interesting things, I saw was an exoskeleton which could control Jami Hubo. Unlike other exoskeletons, this one had good encoders on its joints and the movement it created was really smooth and accurate. All the members came back from the trip today and my goal is to ask one of the members to give me a quick introduction of how it works.

2. New Person that I met

Last week I met a few Indian guys from IIT. Just like me, there are a couple of students from India who came to South Korea fro VSR program. Even though I grew up in India, I have never been to college there and to be honest every one dreamt of going to IIT. But when I was talking to them it did not feel any special in fact it was no better than any colleges in India. As an undergraduate student, there are no resources for them to work at a research lab. All of the undergraduates spend their time in class and study for the end of the year exam. It made me appreciate the opportunities I am getting at UNLV and DASL.

3. What new cultural insight about Korea did you learn this week?

At first, I thought people in South Korea treats tourist nicely, but more time I spend here I realized they tear all their guest with a certain respect and honor. Where ever I go not just in restaurants people were super nice and even not all people spoke English they tried their best to help us or understand. Last week I was telling how all the bus drivers always scream and stuff but something interesting happened a couple of days ago. So I was taking the shuttle at the normal time but I didn't realize that it runs differently on Sundays. On weekends you have to take one bust from dorms to Kaist Munji campus and wait there for 30 min and take another bus from munji to the Main campus. So I was sitting at the bus station and out nowhere he invited me to sit on the bus and offered me coffee. He did not speak any English, at one point he turned up the AC and started showing me funny videos. Afterward, he took me to the main campus on scheduled time.

4. What did you learn about yourself?

One thing I noticed is that since there is no distraction here like family, friends, and classes, I am getting a lot of things done. I am staying longer at nights and I can finish up all my work on time.

5. What is the status of your technical projects and what skills did you learn?

As I said last week, I was helping mark to setup Nvidia Jetson. Which will eventually replace hubo vision pc. I learned a lot of things from that. One that Nvidia Jetson is not ideal PC to replace the whole vision PC. Nvidia Jetson runs on ARM64 architecture and all the drivers and packages are not compatible. Even though it's really good at computer vision, setting jetson up for the first time is a long process. We ended up having two computers for vison pc. One will read all the sensor data(intel nuk) and transfer everything to jetson for processing. Learning how to use jetson and communicating between two pc was important because if it works successfully, I can use it for my unity teleoperation.

Week 3: 06/24/19 - 07/1/19

1. Photo of the week

For me, the photo of the week was a Stratasys 3d printer. I was super excited about it and I could not wait to try it out. But the learning workshop for the printer was in Korean. I spent 1 hour 30 min listening to a technician and trying my best to understand something. I was able to understand enough to get started with the printer. I believe that the best way to check the quality of a printer or any machine is to test its limit. so, I had a huge part which occupied 100% of the build plate and it was 14 hours long. The results were amazing the part came out great, there was no warping and it was clean.

Things I learned

NEVER BUY STRATASYS 3D PRINTER!!!! The printer is crazy accurate but the company did some tricks in it so they can make more money. One of the biggest downsides is that the build plates are a one-time use. So after every print, you have to through away the build plate and put a new one. So people like me who do a lot of 3d printing, it is just frustrating and it's not like that they did not have any other option. They could have change small things like add a glass bed or something to improve it. You also have to buy proprietary filaments and also have to use there trashy proprietary software

2. New Person that I met

Last week, was a bit busy for me and I couldn't go out a lot but I and Jason met daniel lofaro. We attended his presentation and got a lot of good insights. We could clearly see his way of working and our lab's way of working was really similar. I also spent some time checking his wiki page.

3. What new cultural insight about Korea did you learn this week?

One of the interesting things I saw in Korea was that they recycle everything. It's part of there culture, they always separate their trash and only use plastic bags when only necessary. I know it seems like a small thing but unlike USA where people just talk about recycling, here it's everywhere. People are willing to take extra steps to have a clean environment.

4. What did you learn about yourself?

I miss my knives/multitool, back home I always carried them 24/7 and I knew I had it for small tasks like wire stripping, cutting, etc..Since I spend a lot of time in the lab working on soldering or 3d printing. At least once every couple of hours I reach to my pocket for my knife and then realize it's not there. for me, knives are one of the tools that I most relied on.

5. What is the status of your technical projects and what skills did you learn?

One of the things I learned was Nvidia Jetson was not the ideal solution for hobo's vision pc. After spending a lot of days on it, we realized that it was too much work to convert all the packages to arm64 architecture. So jetson does not have a normal processor, it has an arm64 architecture. most of the packages are not supported so you have to build it from the source. People at hub lab wanted to use jetson because it was smaller in size and had a dedicated gpu. I was able to convince them to get a tiny VR PC and put that on hubo. I was able to set it up and now it's working perfectly. Another thing I was working on last week was to brainstorm ideas about the teleoperation and talking to people at kaist about setting up port forwarding. also, I was working with intel real sense 435 depth camera.

Week 4: 07/1/19 - 07/8/19

1. Photo of the week

For me, the photo of the week was the collision detection module I am working on. Right now I and Jason are working on collision detection for rb5 using the rgbd camera. The idea is that even though rb5 has collision detection but the object has to physically touch the robot, our goal is to check collision before it happens.

2. New Person that I met

Last week, I and Jason went to a bar that Dylan recommended and the owner was super interesting. He owns a machine shop in Korea and as a part-time job, he also owns a bar. We had a great chat with him about the work he is doing and all of his projects. One of the projects was that he was trying to use computer vision to know human's mood.

3. What new cultural insight about Korea did you learn this week?

One of the interesting things I saw in Korea was that they recycle everything. It's part of there culture, they always separate their trash and only use plastic bags when only necessary. I know it seems like a small thing but unlike USA where people just talk about recycling, here it's everywhere. People are willing to take extra steps to have a clean environment.

4. What did you learn about yourself?

I still have a lot of things to learn. Spending time at KAIST is really overwhelming, I am constantly surrounded by people who are 100 times smarter than me. It's making me realize that I have to work a lot harder if I want to get to their level.

5. What is the status of your technical projects and what skills did you learn?

As described earlier I am working with collision detection for rb5. I am trying to improve on skills that I learned with projection mapping and Vr. Right now I was able to get the data from the sensor and then create an octomap. I am using that octomap to check for collision between robots urdf and surrounding.

Week 5: 07/8/19 - 07/14/19

1. Photo of the week

For me, the photo of the week was the quadruped that dr.park's student working on. I know I have already talked about it but recently they were trying to make a specialized foot for it, which will help the robot to climb on the rough metal wall. One of their methods was to sandwich an Electropermenet magnet(EPM) between the foot and a silicon pad(infused with metal dust). With some testing, they realize that if the surface is not 100% smooth the EPM won't stick directly to it, they need a soft pad in between. They wanted to transfer the magnetic field from EPM to silicon pad, then they could have a solid contact between the wall and the robot's foot. A major problem with that was that EPM has a bunch of small programmable magnets which are arranged in “alternating polarity” which creates a strongest magnetic field only 2 mm away from the surface. So if you have a silicon pad in between then the magnetic field would be almost zero. For me, this project was really fascinating I love electromagnets and I had seen this problem before. I suggested the Ph.D. student to arrange the magnets it “Halbach array” which will amplify the magnetic field on one side and decrease on the other side. We were able to do some testing and it increased the strength of the magnetic field 10 times more than the previous method. I felt even though it was not a big contribution but It felt really good.

2. New Person that I met

Last week, I went on another quest to find a comic book store in Daejon. I was not successful but I found a really nice model kit store. I bought a lot of model kits for myself and for my friends. While I was there I met Kaist Ph.D. student who was doing research on computer vision for industrial application. It was really fun to talk to him and share our experience. He also suggested some professors who teach computer vision and have free online lectures. His name was Amir and he was from Pakistan and is living in Korea for almost 3 years.

3. What new cultural insight about Korea did you learn this week?

Even though there are a lot of foreigners at KAIST. I felt Korea itself does not have a lot of different types of people. For example, the USA is pretty diverse there are different people from the dirffrent country, race, religion, etc. on the other hand, all people here are Koreans. There is no fight over minorities or the majority.

4. What did you learn about yourself?

I need to learn more programming skills. As a mechanical engineering student, I always thought that I don't need to know how to code but after seeing all the students here, I was wrong. Almost every single one here is ME student and they can code. Every time I meet a new person I always ask them one question. “What skills you wished you had before coming to hubo lab?” most of them told me that they wish they were good at programming and advance dynamics. I already signed up for cs classes for the upcoming semester.

5. What is the status of your technical projects and what skills did you learn?

Last week, I was able to do collision detection in the simulation. I could give the robot a starting and end goal and it will generate an obstacle-free path. I am working in a Ros environment called Moveit which is an industry standard for manipulators. It is a really powerful tool because it can be used to not only just control a manipulator but we can do path planning, object avoidance, teleoperation, etc..I also believe that we can use this method to do pick and place demo with hubo. Currently, I am trying to learn as much as stuff about it so I can use this for hubo teleoperation. I also talked with Dylan and we started setting up the communication. We have a plan of what we are going to do.

akshayjournal.txt · Last modified: 2019/07/15 01:18 by adave