Kaushal’s Spotlight Story: My Summer Project in KMi

This week’s Spotlight Interview features Kaushal Kumar, a recipient of our Summer Scholarship, who tells us about the 6-week project he is doing in KMi. Kaushal is a Sixth Form Student studying Maths, Physics, Chemistry and Further Maths and he starts his final year in September. He hopes to study either Mechanical Engineering or Main Level Engineering at university.

What can you tell us about your project?

I found this summer scholarship through a friend and was immediately interested in the topic ‘Robot Assistants in the Wild’. My project idea is to create an Ergonomic Workstation.

How does that work?

The project relies on sensors which are commonly used for robot perception – namely RGB and depth cameras – to extract key information from the environment that can be helpful to assist people with their daily tasks. I am interested in promoting users’ good posture and in implementing a system that can guide the users in setting up their own Ergonomic Workstation. The system will use perceptual sensors to collect the user’s biometric information (e.g. – their height and body measurements) through Vision, and derive their optimal workstation setup, based on these data. 

What is the likely outcome of your project?

This is a topical issue.  Many people are seeking to improve their workspaces at home, as what was once a temporary way of working is now becoming part of people’s lifestyle.

I am learning more about the Robot Operating System (ROS) and how it interfaces with the robot’s sensors. I expect the scholarship will also give me an insight into the process of academic enquiry and develop my research skills.

I hope that my system may be modularly integrated into an ‘embodied’ robot assistant in the future.

KMi’s Summer Scholarship was launched in 2020. It aims to improve diversity in STEM by providing a professional opportunity with a tangible outcome for young students coming from communities that have been under-represented in STEM and computing. KMi invited applications from UK Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic applicants aged 16 to 20 to carry out a short computer science project in KMi, lasting up to 6 weeks during June-August. Kaushal is one of two successful applicants to be awarded a scholarship, which provides grant funding of £4,000 and mentorship from KMi Academic Researchers and / or PhD Students to carry out their project.


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