NASA Podcasts

NASA 360 Points Beyond - After the Challenge
1.14.2013
 
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  • GFX: NASA 360 Points Beyond: After the Challenge

    We really had no idea what to expect when we got here. And then, you know, being able to take all of this and now go back, and now we have an idea, you know, for next year, it's just gonna be that much better. We're gonna be that much more prepared.

    The thing to take away-- that I take away that I already knew is just how difficult field robotics really is and how difficult these open problems in robotics are. I think, as a team, we're really excited about being able to tackle them. It's a really cool frontier to work on.

    I think next is, when we get it back to home base, we'll start and just keep working on the software development. Probably go back and change some of the things we've gotten in place by this point. And once we're satisfied with those working, you know, really tear into the executive-- the planning side of it, which is the big untouched part of the software system right now.

    Well, without sounding silly, it hasn't done anything unusual that I didn't expect it to do. So I already know where its problems are. I just need to have time to fix them. You know what I'm saying?

    We have some regrouping to do and some re-planning. We learned a lot from our run on Friday and Saturday, and then we have some redesigning and a lot of development to do.

    We were rushed -- mad rush to the end, you know, to get everything wired, make sure we met all the rule qualifications. And then once we were on the platform, we were hoping we weren't gonna blow up because of the issues that we had. So, you know, just making it off the platform was a win for us.

    We've got a solid base. We've got sort of solid outside of our software, our sensing and our actuation. And just continue moving in, continue with the higher-level function, the executive planning facilities of the robot and testing. There'll be no end of testing between now and when we show up next year.

    You have to test your robot continuously to make sure that you've tested in a lot of different environments, because the environment that you run at competition will be different than what you test. So you have to try everything you can to make it break and then have a way to solve that problem. Once you've thought it through and decided what you're gonna build, don't hesitate to start building stuff. Get out in the shop and start putting stuff together and you'll pretty quickly discover if you made a mistake in the design stage. But if you wait till the last minute to start building stuff, you might not discover that until it's much too late.

    I think it's been a really awesome journey and a really fun ride. And we've had a really great team this year. We've had plenty of drama and also plenty of good things that have happened as well. So it's been really great to come together as a team and to have a really nice project that we can deliver.

    We sincerely hope that they hold this competition again next year. We've put a lot of effort into it so far, and, you know, we'd like to put that to the test at some point.

    Oh, I'll be here. I'll be here next year with bells, as they say.

    We may even look out to branch out and try to get a few more members to split the workload a little bit more, because this last year, i think, has drained both of us. And it'd be better to have more people. You know, it's a team project, so why not? Next for us is gonna be, probably take a couple of weeks off and just kick back and relax. - catch up on sleep. - yeah. [both laugh]

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