Sunday, September 20, 2015

September Open House 2015

Another UConn Open House for prospective students has come and gone. Thankfully, this one didn't involve any show-stopping calamities. The biggest problem was that I had only gotten 3 hours of sleep the night before and, as a result, my focus was obviously impaired. This meant it was very difficult for me to reliably control the drone with my mind as I alter my focus for different commands like taking off and spinning.

The day started bright and early as I showed up to ITE a little before 9 AM to help move stuff over to the Jorgensen for our department's table. Interestingly enough, they had made a new poster for the CS/CSE/CompE departments and I was actually in a couple of the pictures on it.

After hanging around for what felt like almost an hour waiting for students and their families to start showing up, I went back to ITE to set up my drone demo. After putting on the headset and opening up my API for interfacing between the EEG and drone, I noticed for some bizarre reason it was only sending the gyroscope data so I couldn't do much of anything, including make it take off or land.

For once it wasn't the drone being temperamental

I was frustrated for several minutes but then remembered I still had my ad-hoc program to fly the drone with the headset although I wouldn't have as much control over it since I wouldn't be able to access the gyro data. It was good enough since we had a short time limit for the presentations but I still wasn't terribly happy I had to use the old program. It had worked fine back in May and I was convinced I hadn't changed anything about it since.

The department tried their best to be systematic and punctual with the tours and timing, yet we still encountered widely different time spans for presentations and sizes of tour groups. At one point we had a 20 minute gap in between groups, and the groups ranged anywhere from 3 people to over 30. People seemed to enjoy the presentation, though and I had a few curious people ask questions about it and my past internship at Google.

By the time I had finished with demos, everyone else was long done and ate almost all of the many boxes of pizza that were at Castleman. Thankfully, they still had a full cheese pizza waiting for me.

Although I'm a senior now, this was by no means my last Open House since there's another one coming up in October and one for accepted students in the spring. Hopefully by then my API will be functional once more... or maybe it was just a sleep-deprived brain causing all the trouble.

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