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UIC students present design projects at Fermilab

Fermilab Drone project

Two groups of UIC students were invited to Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory’s Robotics Showcase to present and demonstrate their work on automating tasks in radioactive environments.

One of the senior design projects focuses on deploying UAV drones to test rooms at Fermilab for its Neutrinos at the Main Injector (NuMI) project. This team is designing a quadcopter that is equipped with a radiation dosimeter for radiation measurements and ultrasonic beacons for positioning.  This design can be deployed in any indoor, radiative environment to measure and map the radiation intensities emitted from NuMI target systems. The other project uses machine learning to automate repairs in radioactive environments.

The interdisciplinary teams include students from mechanical engineering, industrial engineering, and computer science.

The Radiation Mapping UAV team is made up of Michael DiMeo, Sebastian Szulakiewicz, Michael Kifarkis, Bruce Treska, John Stanton, and Arshad Narmawala. The Automating Maintenance in a Radioactive Environment team is made up of Christiane Alford, Frantishek Akulich, Mazdak Khoshnood, Harsh Gupta, Muhammed Ishaq Memon.

Both projects are under the direction of Katsuya Yonehara, Fermilab project sponsor, and Jon Komperda, senior design faculty advisor in mechanical and industrial engineering.

The goal of Fermilab’s robot initiative is to implement robots to complete tasks that are repetitive, strenuous, or dangerous to humans. Some other projects showcased at the fair included robots that can give employees vision in highly radioactive environments, a large pneumatic arm that removes and disposes of radioactive proton beam targets, CNC welding, and an exoskeleton that reduces worker strain.