Throw like you Catch
For our final project in 6.843 = Robotic Manipulation by Russ Tedrake - I wanted to make robots play catch. By the means of Inverse Kinematics, optimization based closed loop DiffIK, we planned an interception strategy to catch a Tennisball from various locations. Try to catch a Ball with chopsticks. Its hard. I found that playing the videos backward made it look like throwing, so given a target position and velocity, we can reverse the velocity and solve the catching problem. Reversing our plan will yield in a throwing controller! Run this Deepnote project to find out for yourself! Or read the details.
This summer, I bought a motorcycle on craigslist in California. The Goal: Make a cafe racer and drive it back to Boston. Using this bike for my daily work commute got me stranded a couple of times until I decided to take it apart and reverse engineer it. Instead of fixing the electronics I redid everything and threw the ignition lock away. It has now Keyless go, the blinkers are well hidden, minimalistic buttons control everything, and check out the speedometer! I broke my ankle in a skydiving accident, which made me transform my dorm room into a workshop until I got the last fixes done.
16.001 - Flight Competition
Our final project was to design and build a plane that maximizes the payload carried and the angular velocity is a circle squared. I was responsible for the optimization of the wing. We ran a simple linear optimizer for each plane configuration and since some trends were obvious we were able to reduce the hyperparameter search space to less than 700.000 planes. It took my server 3 days to find the optimal solution :)
Later we build the plane and I made sure that all the wings are smooth