May 30, 2017 – This month, dozens of U of T Engineering students boarded planes to spend four months conducting research or taking courses abroad. Some of these exchanges are organized by the Centre for International Experience, others are facilitated through the Engineering Science International Summer Research program, and some have been arranged individually by students and principal investigators at partner institutions around the world.
Five of these students shared their stories with U of T Engineering News:
Anston Emmanuel (Year 3 MechE) — Singapore
Emmanuel is part of a team building a robotic manta ray under the supervision of Professor Chee-Meng Chew in the Control and Mechatronics lab at the National University of Singapore. “I will be developing a robust localization solution for the aquatic robot, which will allow it to accurately track its relative position in its environment at all times,” he says. “This is very difficult to do in an underwater environment as GPS signals and typical modes of wireless communication onshore are not effective underwater.”
One possible solution is to use a flow rate sensor that tracks how quickly water flows over the underside of the robot. Emmanuel is experimenting with this approach to provide a better estimate of the robot’s location. Manta rays are naturally ultra-efficient swimmers, so applications for a manta-like robot include offshore ocean monitoring, surveillance, remote water pollution detection, and even deep-sea searches.
In his spare time, Emmanuel is looking forward to immersing himself in Singaporean culture and community. “I’m excited to try the diverse food, and to travel to other locations in Southeast Asia when I get a chance,” he says. “I’ve been surprised by the alternative form of English spoken here, locally referred to as ‘Singlish.’ I’m still getting the hang of it!”