(light, pleasant music)
(electronic chimes beeping) In the Nimbus Lab, we primarily work with these aerial robots and we focus on two aspects, so looking at the robotics problems, so how do you get robots out into the real world, and we also look at the software engineering side, which is how do you develop software for these robots that’s robust and reliable. You can actually carry this with you easily. You can just drive up to the side of a lake or river and send it out to collect samples for you. This also greatly speeds up the sampling process, so instead of just going out and collecting one or two samples in the lake, in that same time we can collect dozens of samples. So with this type of vehicle, we can basically now enable new types of controlled burns where before they may not have done it how they wanted to, they did it how they could do it safely. With this type of vehicle, you can get out into the environment to start these controlled burns much safer without putting any humans at risk. (fire sizzling) It’s fun to actually, you know, see a design go from concept to the computer to then actually being built in real life and now doing a physical test and seeing it validated, that’s a lot of fun. The balls will be loaded in this. There’s basically a chute up here, and then they drop into the mechanism so we’ll have that fully loaded out there. So this is good for this because we can ensure that it’s safely away from the vehicle before it ignites.
(engine buzzing) We can reduce woody invasion in Nebraska and elsewhere in the world and we can reduce danger of wildfire. Over the past 11 years, there’s been five different individuals lose their lives in the wildland fire community. So to have an unmanned aircraft system do the work for us– Move those back.
To take the firefighters out of harm’s way would be a significant thing. We really were looking how we can give personality to this thing, this inanimate object, not just that they are these cool things that fly around but they have these personalities that you can, you just gotta tease them out. We communicate mainly through movement, and we’re gonna be asking you to communicate with your robots through movement. I believe our adviser purposely told us that we were not gonna be dancing just to get us here and we found out later that we were gonna be dancing, but it was, it was a lot of fun. So I think it’s a real great opportunity for students because these types of platforms, it’s very hands on, so you get to take what you learn in a classroom and apply it to a system and I really think that we have the potential to become one of the, you know, premier UAV research labs.