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Engaging Students in Multidisciplinary Projects in Unmanned Vehicles Technologies for Enhanced Learning Experiences

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

Multidisciplinary Engineering Division Poster Session

Tagged Division

Multidisciplinary Engineering

Tagged Topic


Page Count


Page Numbers

26.607.1 - 26.607.16



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Paper Authors


Subodh Bhandari Cal Poly Pomona

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Dr. Bhandari is a professor in the Department of Aerospace Engineering at Cal Poly Pomona. His expertise is in the area of Aircraft Dynamics and Control and Unmanned Systems. His current research emphasis is on the coordination and control of multiple unmanned vehicles, UAV-UGV collaboration, tracking of mobile targets using UAVs, development of robust adaptive controller for UAVs using neural networks, and collision and obstacle avoidance system for UAV’s. Dr. Bhandari leads a multidisciplinary team of faculty and students from several departments within the Colleges of Engineering and Science at Cal Poly Pomona for research on unmanned systems. He has obtained federal and industry support for his research on UAV’s, including funding from National Science Foundation, Army Research Office, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and Northrop Grumman Corporation.

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Zekeriya Aliyazicioglu California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

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Dr. Zekeriya Aliyazicioglu received his M.S. degree in 1991 and Ph.D. degree in 1995, both in Electrical Engineering from Southern Methodist University (Dallas, Texas). He is currently a Professor of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. His research interests include Digital Signal Processing applications, Digital Image Processing, Communication Systems, and robotics. He is an author of numerous research papers and presentations in these areas. Dr. Aliyazicioglu is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE). He is a member of Eta Kappa Nu, Tau Beta Pi and ASEE.

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Fang Tang Cal Poly Pomona

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Fang (Daisy) Tang is Associate Professor and Graduate Coordinator in the Computer Science Department at California State Polytechnic University - Pomona (Cal Poly Pomona), having joined the faculty in 2006. Dr. Tang received her Ph.D. degree in computer science in 2006 from The University of Tennessee - Knoxville (UTK), performing her research on multi-robot systems. She received her M.S. degree in computer science from UTK in 2003, and her B.S. degree in computer science from Sichuan University, Chengdu, China, in 2000.

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Scott Matthew Boskovich California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

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Dr. Scott Boskovich has been involved in Research and Development design engineering for twenty years in industry and has been teaching and performing research in academia for twelve years, publishing several papers. His research focus is on autonomous robotics, embedded hardware and software design, and high-level behavior algorithms. His recent research efforts focus on developing multi-agent autonomous algorithms using decentralized techniques for autonomous cooperative control. His classes include controls, robotics, and various embedded design disciplines such as FPGAs and microcontrollers. He received his Ph.D. in 2014 and his M.S. in 2001, and is a member in IEEE.

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Engaging Students in Multidisciplinary Projects in Unmanned Vehicles Technologies for Enhanced Learning ExperienceAbstractUnmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV’s) and Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGV’s) have potentialof reducing human casualty and cost for many dull, dirty, and dangerous missions. UAV’s areone of the fastest growing sectors of Aerospace Industry. However, there is a lack ofprofessionals entering the workforce for unmanned vehicles related jobs. This paper talks aboutinnovative multidisciplinary projects on unmanned vehicles technologies designed to increasestudents’ interest, involvement, and retention. Many aspects of unmanned systems are not orcannot usually be taught in classroom settings. Students and/or research projects are effectiveway of exposing students to the state-of-the-art in unmanned vehicles technologies.Multidisciplinary projects provide students opportunity to learn real-world problems and workin team environment.Main goal of the ongoing research projects is to increase the autonomy of the unmannedvehicles. Increased autonomy helps reduce the cost and human involvement. The projectsinclude many aspects of unmanned vehicles technologies such as Sense & Avoid, ComputerVision, Path Planning, Autonomous Routing, Geolocation Techniques, et cetera, and involvemore than 70 students from Aerospace, Electrical & Computer, Mechanical, and IndustrialEngineering, and Computer Science Departments. The projects also involve community collegeand high school students. The projects have been found to effectively engage students inlearning and help develop new understanding and knowledge. The students get ampleopportunity to develop theoretical understanding, by means of hands-on learning, and apply theknowledge to modeling, simulation, and experimental testing. The paper will discuss thesefindings.This paper also describes strategies to retain, recruit, and train lower level students for thesemultidisciplinary projects, which is expected to continue for several years into future, withfunding support from the Northrop Grumman Corporation. The projects have succeeded inretaining the students from previous years with the retention rate being more than 90% amongnon-graduating students. The returning students usually assume leadership roles and help trainthe lower level students. The paper also talks about outreach activities to minority student clubs,community colleges, and high school students for recruiting purposes as well as for motivatingthem to STEM fields. The student diversity has increased significantly compared to the firstyear of the project. The project is currently in its fourth year. It has been found, based onindustry feedback, that with involvement in multidisciplinary real world projects, studentsdemonstrate increased readiness for career in the industry. Students have also shown increasedinterest to graduate degrees.

Bhandari, S., & Aliyazicioglu, Z., & Tang, F., & Boskovich, S. M. (2015, June), Engaging Students in Multidisciplinary Projects in Unmanned Vehicles Technologies for Enhanced Learning Experiences Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.23945

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