Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology; Carlotta Berry
The purpose of this unsolicited proposal is to create a collaborative effort between Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology (RHIT) and the NSF Industry/University Cooperative Research Center for Safety, Security and Rescue Research Center (SSR-RC) at the University of Denver (DU). This work seeks to capitalize on the faculty, undergraduate and graduate student resources at this primarily undergraduate engineering institution, RHIT, and the research equipment and resources available at DU. The SSR-RC provides integrative robotics and artificial intelligence solutions in robotics for activities conducted by emergency response personnel.
The intellectual merits of this work lie in the fact that the utility of an unmanned air vehicle (UAV) is extensive in military and civil applications. The design of a robust UAV with vertical take-off and landing will allow for surveillance and maneuverability in narrow spaces. In addition, UAVs rarely include a manipulator; thus, the inclusion of one through this work will allow for more flexibility with respect to the UAV interacting with its environment. The funding of this project will illustrate a practical integration of research and education at two very different types of institutions.
The broader impacts of the proposed work are primarily related to the inclusion of faculty, undergraduate and graduate students at RHIT into the high-level research available through the laboratory at DU. The relationship is expected to enhance the infrastructure for research and education at both of these schools. If the hexacopter proves to be a viable resource, then it will affect populations far beyond academia. In addition, since the students will need to consider the novice end user in their design, it will require them to have an awareness of societal needs and capabilities.