Alok Menghrajani

Previously: security engineer at Square, co-author of HackLang, put the 's' in https at Facebook. Maker of CTFs.

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A course taught at the Microengineering department by Prof. Floreano. There were two major homeworks: a research assignment and a mini project.

Research assignment

Our assignment was the study of “Bionics of Flights”. We studied how bioinspired techniques are used to design flying vehicules such as planes or hand gliders.

Some of my work included looking at various designs for “winglets”. An interesting thing we found was that birds adapt the shape of their winglets based on their speed, while man-made objects usually always have fixed wings.

wing suits, an example of bioinspired flight

Mini project

“Evolution of vision-based navigation. Simulation using a simple, ultra-fast simulator”.

The project consists in exploring how various parameters (like field-of-view, number of pixel, arena shape, quantity of contrast in environment, etc) affect the evolution of vision-based navigation. The objective is to find suitable parameters in order to evolve controllers for a Khepera in a few different environment types.

We used a genetic algorithms and the goevo simulator. The objective function was the speed of the wheels (i.e. the goal was to maximize the robots movements).

The following video shows one of our results.