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Real-World Robotics

Electrical Engineering Majors Showcase Their Capstone Project

Stefanie Senkow
May 10, 2018

EE Research SymposiumImagine that the technology you created could save lives. Robotic drones in the middle of a vast sea, autonomously communicating with each other, leading to the successful completion of a life-saving mission. Now imagine that you were the talent behind this extraordinary technology. For two Electrical Engineering majors at the United States Coast Guard Academy, this amazing accomplishment may someday become reality.

First Class Cadets Jordan Ford and Ashley Palmieri presented their capstone Electrical Engineering project during the Cadet Research Symposium Day, which focused on cooperative robotic search—building commercially available small robot kits capable of indoor geolocation, inter-vehicle communication and autonomous navigation.

“There’s so much power behind multiple autonomous assets working together and cooperating to reach an end result,” said Palmieri during the presentation, which showcased the intelligence of a robot that could detect a ball by way of the cadets’ skillful programming.

Although Ford and Palmieri’s research is in its infancy in terms of being implemented within the Coast Guard, the project as well as their overall Academy experience has proven instrumental to both their professional and personal development as they prepare to depart upon graduation day.

“When you graduate from the Academy, you leave as an adult,” says Ford, reflecting on his project and upcoming graduation. “You’re ready for the real world.”

Palmieri echoes that sentiment. While being initially hesitant about a military future, she knew that the Coast Guard Academy would set her up for a successful future. “At the Academy, you are capable of doing anything if you are willing to put in the time and hard work.” Both newly commissioned ensigns plan to serve at sea for their first assignment.