Joe was born in Michigan, where he attended Our Lady of the Lakes Catholic High School. Three days after graduation, he joined the military, where he served in the 1st Ranger Battalion for six years, including overseas deployments. Afterward, he earned a degree in Criminal Justice and became a police officer in Hilo. Joe is now attending UH Hilo to complete a degree in Computer Science. He is currently a CS tutor, and serves as chair of the UH Board of Media Broadcasting. His future goal is to work with military technologies in the field of AI research. In his free time, Joe works on his hobby farm with his wife and children, and enjoys reading about futurism.
Home Island: Big Island
High School: Lakes Catholic High School
Institution when accepted: University of Hawaii, Hilo
Akamai Project: A Follow-Me-at-a-Distance Algorithm for DroidPlanner
Project Site: Akimeka LLC
Mentor: Lakulish Patel
Persistent problems exist in micro UAV development including limited range, connectivity in high density environments, intuitive command interfaces, and ease of training. DroidPlanner was developed to provide drone operators with a mobile ground control station (GCS) for ArduPilot with the goal of alleviating some of these issues. The GCS was created on an open source platform, which is easily modified and can be tailored to different situations. DroidPlanner archives these goals by utilizing Android based devices and accessing their extensive library. Since Android phones and tablets contain their own GPS, it is possible to relay this data to the micro UAV and have the UAV follow the device. We implemented a simple menu interface that makes it possible to select the cardinal direction and distance that the UAV should follow. The GCS then places a waypoint for the UAV to follow; ArduPilot then autonomously flies the UAV to this waypoint. This method works as expected, and the UAV responds as predicted. Future developments will be to increase the range of options provided during the selection menu to include non-cardinal directions.