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Nair interns at Volcani Institute, Israel

Photo of Ashwin Nair
MSIE student Ashwin Nair with HUB-CI controller in Israel
Ashwin Nair, a graduate IE student and PRISM Center Researcher in agricultural robotics, interned this summer at the Agricultural Robotics Lab (ARL) at the Volcani Institute in Israel.

Nair worked on developing a HUB-CI-based controller, machine learning and simulation for a smart cart that carries a robot manipulator, cameras and sensors for mobile greenhouse stress monitoring, while interacting with remote farmers and plant disease scientists. Purdue IE's PRISM Center (Nof group), the ARL lab, and a UMD lab collaborate on a project to improve early detection of stresses in plants in a greenhouse.

He completed his research objectives of understanding the design of the autonomous robot cart including sensors and controllers, 3D modelling of the environment using stereo vision cameras, and creating a 3D simulation. He prepared a simulation for robots in a greenhouse, outlined the architecture for human-robot interactions, and created machine learning and deep learning programs which he is in the process of testing this semester. 

Nair's two other research objectives are the basis of his Master's thesis research: Developing human role and interfaces with an integrated system simulator for early detection of stresses in a crop, and developing machine learning algorithms for the detection of anomalies in a crop based on data acquired from the sensors. 

An additional highlight for Nair during the internship was attending a community address given by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the Indian community in Israel.