An update blog post

It’s been a long while since I posted on this blog, and consequently February ’17 ended up being the first month since Nov ’15 (when I first started writing on this blog) in which I did not post. All those clichéd combo breaker thoughts aside, it was an uphill journey for me for the most part of early 2017. And proud as I may be, I might have endured just as well.

I’d cut to the chase, I have been selected as a research assistant at the Robust Adaptive Systems Lab, Robotics Institute, Carnegie Mellon University for the period May 10, 2017 to July 25, 2017. I’d be reporting to Prof. Nathan Michael, and my work would revolve around the “refinement, optimization, and evaluation of an online monocular visual-inertial state estimation methodology that leverages a window-based optimization to compute a maximum posterior estimate of the system state.” Simply speaking, I’d have to implement a better online Visual Inertial Odometry framework on an ARM PC mounted on a quadcopter.

Why I call this selection an uphill task is because of the sheer time and effort it required. Since early December 2016, I’ve had about 10 voice calls with people at RASL (including 5 with Prof. Nathan), read over 10 research papers related to the field, compiled the entire code on my PC and added a few bug-fixes to the same. Add to that the agony of getting hospitalized for a week in mid February (it was an infection of some sort). I finally got the confirmation on March 5 and that has waived a humongous amount of stress off my head.

Needless to say, it’s a dream position for me. The sheer number of times I’ve dreamt about being at RI is uncountable, and with a project that totally matches my field of interest, that’s like cake with icing on it. And since I loathe overtly sweet stuff, much more like hot sauce on my noodles. I currently am busy planning out the logistics for my trip, and trying to rush through the visa procedure. I depart from IGI on May 09.

Here’s hoping for a great productive summers! I’d aspire to turn my PhD at CMU dreams into a reality with this!

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