A research paper and the knowledge gained

I took up engineering for the sole purpose of learning something innovative and out of the ordinary. Having been brought up in an environment where I was taught that the world might stop without the advent of engineering (which ultimately proved to be true, if you ask me), I was exposed to news about cool gadgets being invented from scratch, the proud inventors posing for the paparazzi (or the general media for that matter) holding their trophy invention. Naturally, like all other humans and like all other young teen ready to join college, the science and engineering behind it kindled my interest.

Three years down the line, having taken up engineering in a country where parents even go the extent of deciding their children's future the moment the latter is born, I suddenly realize that I have done next to nothing in all these three years other than completing assignments at the nick of time (the fun that I had while doing things at the last moment was profound), trying to pass all the exams and the tests that my college puts forth just to test our memorizing skill (and the instances where I barely pass or just manage to), the times when a horde of my friends decide to bunk classes and head off to the food court.

So, in my third year of engineering, I decided to do something resourceful before I sit for the placements at the end of the eight semester. I decided to submit a paper for a technical conference scheduled to be held at my college campus. After all, I needed something to fill up my resume'. I decided to submit a paper based on the branch of engineering that I loved the most, though I wasn't able to pursue it. Aeronautical engineering has always fascinated me and being an instrumentation engineer, I searched for places where I could incorporate the "instrumentation & automation" part of my branch into this. It wasn't hard, owing to the fact that almost everything today is automated. My eyes fell upon an already published paper on Unmanned Ariel Vehicles and how they would automatically detect objects in it's flight path, thus avoiding collision. This was it! This was automation in aeronautical engineering staring right at me! Just to be on the safer side, I googled the various types of drones in use, their basic working and how they are controlled. Of the millions of results that google threw at me, I found that almost all the drones were manually controlled from a ground station via an infra-red remote control. Even though this drone discussed in the technical paper required the basic programming and manual control to gain desired lift and to hover, it was however capable of flying on its own, in an environment filled with disturbances and obstacles. With that initial research, I set my mind on the ways to improvise this paper, while going through various other such papers for reference. The main theme for the conference was on automation being used in agriculture and rural development, so I decided that this feature of object and collision avoidance by a technique called optical flow would prove to be useful in manning and surveying a field during the night time using the power of the sun absorbed during the day through solar cells or by any other means.I have not however explained how to incorporate this feature onto the drone, but I have merely mentioned it in the "abstract" and the "scope for improvement" section of my paper. Yes, this is my main concern now, as after having submitted the paper, I realized that I had made a big folly by not incorporating the above mentioned. I felt that had I done it, I would have made my paper a much more eligible candidate for the moderators to actually consider it. Nevertheless, this being my first technical paper, I feel quite excited in having it compiled and if given another chance, will definitely modify it in the way mentioned above. Thus, my paper is based on a technique called the Lucas-Kanade technique, that is one of the most popular and robust optical techniques available to date.
I would like to make this blog post in parts so as to clearly explain my paper and the things that I have done there, based on the views and the comments (if any).
To be continued (hopefully)......

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