Each summer, dozens of talented undergraduates from around the world come to Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Institute for its Summer Scholars program, an intensive 11-week program introducing them to state-of-the-art robotics research. This summer, CMU RISS is launching a partnership with DJI, the world’s leading company in the civilian-drone industry.
DJI directors and engineers partnered with RI researchers, graduate students, and CMU spinoff Nabla Ascent to design a one-day workshop for the summer scholars on Tuesday, August 8th. DJI also joined the RI Summer Scholars Research Showcase on Wednesday August 9th to celebrate the scholar’s contributions in the field and DJI’s leading technologies.
DJI Pennovation director, Dr. Zhiyuan Li spoke to one of the challenges of robotics education: “In general it takes so long to setup the system and to program on it. What happens usually is students ended up doing simulations, or working on a really small part of the system. We are so happy with DJI’s off-the-shelf drone and SDKs, students can grab a drone from the shop, and start programming almost immediately, and they can do computer vision, feedback control and close the loop. I’m so impressed by how fast they are making progresses. We really look forward to seeing DJI and CMU work together on more cutting edge research on robotics and push the limit of the industry.”
DJI Pennovation manager, Ms. Hui Xu described why DJI is excited to work with CMU’s Robotics Institute Summer Scholars’ program, “The collaborations represent a win-win for both organizations and aligns with DJI’s view of the industry’s future of lab-to-market pipeline. We believe that the long-term engagements between world’s top academic communities and industry leader will create a thriving eco-system.”
CMU RI PhD student, RISS alumnus, and Nabla Ascent co-founder, Sankalp Arora, stated that “RI Summer Scholars are getting a great learning opportunity to work developing an autonomous robotic system that can solve real-world problems. We’d like to thank DJI and the RISS program at Carnegie Mellon for making the workshop possible. We are stoked to be able to contribute our expertise towards providing this experience to the students.”
Dr. John Dolan, Robotics Institute principal systems scientist said, “DJI’s enthusiasm for working with the RISS Program has been matched by student enthusiasm to learn and use their technology. It’s a great opportunity for our students to get direct exposure to a market leader and hands-on experience with highly capable platforms. We look forward to events of this sort laying the basis for a productive and collegial collaboration with DJI.”
Rachel Burcin, Robotics Institute global programs manager said, “Partnering with industry leaders like DJI connects education – research and industry in a unique way. DJI and RISS share a similar passion and commitment to education and creating strong learning experiences for students.The growth and impact of the summer scholars program has been phenomenal. With over 800 applications each year, this program brings some of the brightest undergraduate students from around the world to experience the depth and breadth of research at Carnegie Mellon’s Robotics Institute. The program’s unique approach combines, research, industry exposure, and career mentoring. This has prepared alumni for top graduate programs and key industry leadership positions worldwide. The future partnership with DJI will enhance the student experience and post-program trajectory. It has been wonderful working with the DJI team.”