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Program Modules

Preliminary Schedule for Summer 2018 USDA-NIFA-HSI Education Program

-First Week-

Lectures by Professor Fanis Tsoulouhas at 1:00 PM in 200B SSM

  • Monday, May 28
    • Memorial Day, school is closed
  • Tuesday, May 29
  • Wednesday, May 30
    • Lecture on Entrepreneurship: Business Modeling and Planning
  • Thursday, May 31
    • Lecture on Financing New Ventures
  • Friday, June 1
    • Lecture on Innovative Access to Capital: Crowdfunding and Initial Coin Offering (ICO); the Microfinance Project at UC Merced

Assignment:

  1. "What I Learned about Innovation and Entrepreneurship and How I Could Apply It in Agriculture" (due on Friday, June 9)

-Second Week-

Lectures by Professor YangQuan Chen at MESA lab (How to arrive the meeting place in Castle?)

  • Topics covered
    • 6/4 ME143 Unmanned Aerial Systems – tutorials on aerodynamics and flight dynamics. Graduate Mentor Haoyu Niu: welcome to MESA Lab, lab safety, expectations. Labs using MESABOX and Snap Circuits Extreme.
    • 6/5  Haoyu: Autonomous AGV for precision agriculture – DIY demo
    • 6/6 ME143 Unmanned Aerial Systems – tutorials on aerodynamics and flight dynamics.  Labs using MESABOX and Snap Circuits Extreme.
    • 6/7 Haoyu: Autonomous AGV for precision agriculture – DIY
    • 6/8 Haoyu: Autonomous AGV for precision agriculture – DIY
  • Fill out a formal evaluation form to rate the short course, express their comments, etc.
  • Assignments
    • Drone application survey
    • On how to become an FAA certified Drone Pilot

-Third Week-

Summer autonomous vehicle research in MESA lab

Prof. Chen and Ph.D. student Haoyu Niu: Autonomous AGV for precision agriculture

  • Vehicle re-construction. (3 per team)
  • Vehicle modification and retrofitting with autopilots
  • Milestone: Vehicle computer controlled remote motion ready

-Fourth Week-

Summer autonomous vehicle research in MESA lab  

Prof. Chen and Ph.D. student Haoyu Niu: Autonomous AGV for precision agriculture

  • Automated vehicle programming
  • In field testing
  • Milestone: Way point navigation
  • Milestone: Leader follower formation motion control
  • Research topics (Please prepare the students for the annual meeting. A poster will be needed for each group)
    • Swarming robots for precision agriculture – literature review and missions
    • Sensing and avoidance solutions for field ag robots – literature review and missions

Fill out a research assessment form.

-Fifth Week-

Visit local companies

Monday: Gallo in Livingston

Tuesday: Gallo in Modesto

Wednesday: US Colds Storage in Turlock

Thursday: Stevinson Corporation in Stevinson

Friday: Minturn Nut in Le Grand

 

Schedule for Summer 2017 USDA-NIFA-HSI Education Program

-First Week-

  • Monday, May 22, 1:00 PM in 200B SSM, Professor Fanis Tsoulouhas
  1. Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiatives at UC Merced
  2. The Microfinance Project at UC Merced
  3. Introduction to Crowdfunding
  4. Angel vs VC funding
  5. Introduction to the Food Processing Industry
  • Tuesday, May 23, 1:00 PM in 200B SSM, Lecture on Innovation: Disruptive Innovation, Professor Fanis Tsoulouhas
  • Thursday, May 25, 1:00 PM in 200B SSM, Lecture on Entrepreneurship: Business Modeling and Planning, Professor Fanis Tsoulouhas
  • Friday, May 26, 1:00 PM in 200B SSM, Lecture on Innovation: Innovation Strategy, Professor Fanis Tsoulouhas

Assignment:

  1. "What I Learned about Innovation and Entrepreneurship and How I Could Apply It in Agriculture" (due on Friday, June 2)

-Second Week-

 "AgTech foundation group learning sessions" are mainly done by experimenting the following: 5 sets: Snap Circuits Extreme SC-750 Electronics Discovery Kit ( Also 5 DC power supplies);  Totally 5 sets SparkFun Inventor's Kit for Arduino 101 - Special Edition:  ( Also 100 batteries); Totally 5 sets The Parrot Mambo minidrones.

  • Monday, May 29, Holiday (no meeting)
  • Tuesday, May 30, Drones for good; Overview plus Best Drone+Ag videos (whiteboard photo)
  • Wednesday, May 31, Human Factor lecture (1.25 hour). MESA Lab tour and drone research projects. AgTech foundation group learning sessions
  • Thursday, June 1, Field day at UAV ("Drone") Field Meeting, Bowles Farming, Los Banos
    • Convene at UCM Castle Research Facility then drive to the field. UC Walk activity.
  • Friday, June 2, Drone: learn how to fly Intel Drone.  Drone for precision ag literature survey.  AgTech foundation group learning sessions

Assignments: (Requirements: Submit one/single google doc file, work as a team by collaborative writing, average one page per person minimum for each assignment topic (total 5 pages). Credit to sources properly with professional citation format.)

  1. Drone application survey (minimum 5 pages)
  2. On how to become an FAA certified Drone Pilot (minimum 5 pages)

-Third Week-

UCM Castle Research Facility. Arrive at 9:30AM

  • June 5 Monday. Lecture attending: ME190 Basic Aerodynamics (3 hours); AgTech foundation group learning sessions
  • June 6 Tuesday. AgTech foundation group learning sessions. RC airplane control practice.
  • June 7 Wednesday. Lecture attending: ME190 Basic Flight Dynamics (3 hours); AgTech foundation group learning sessions
  • June 8 Thursday. Field Trip. Video dumentary making: field visit to observe a real ag drone mission plus ground truthing effort (Looney Mission MESA Lab's AgDrone Project)
  • June 9 Friday. ICUAS AgDroneTech'2016 Tutorial Workshop Slides reading/learning (4 hours). Report writing.

Assignments: (Requirements: Submit one google doc file, work as a team by collaborative writing, average one page per person minimum for each assignment topic (total 5 pages). Credit to sources properly with professional citation format.)

  1. Agriculture Drone Technology: A Survey (minimum 5 pages)
  2. A typical ag drone mission taxonomy: MESA Lab's AgDrone Project as an example.  (minimum 5 pages)

-Fourth Week-

UCM Castle Research Facility or UCM Library. Arrive at 9:30AM

Assignments: (Requirements: Submit one google doc file, work as a team by collaborative writing, average one page per person minimum for each assignment topic (total 5 pages). Credit to sources properly with professional citation format.)

  1. Understanging AB-2511 and why drones help in SoilStar vision: An essay (minimum 5 pages)
  2. How to become tomorrow's AgTech expert: Advices to UC Merced undergraduate students. (minimum 5 pages)

-Fifth Week-

Field trips. Visiting USDA ARS etc.