Projects
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Some of Usman's recent technical projects and their highlights are presented in reverse-chronological order here. Feel free to contact him for access to related publications or discuss any further details. You can also find the related papers here. For complete catalogue of videos please visit the Youtube channel.

​For non-technical projects, business, and hobbies, please navigate to the avocations page.
  1. Managing Director
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Novel latching mecahnism for usBots using passive or permanent magnets in place of electro/electro-permanent magnets. [US provisional patent application filed; status: pending]
Key features: 1. Novel, controlled latching ability with passive magnets, 2. Self-assisted bond formation, 3.  Self-assisted bond breakage, 4. Bond avoidance with zero communication, 5. Low power consumption.
usBot
Two papers on the way in 2018; One to be submitted to IROS 2018, and the second one to IEEE/ASME Transanctions on Mechatronics. The latter will have a complete stochastic self-assembly implementation.
usBot (named after its inventor usMan by prof. J.S. Shamma) is a modular, passive magnetic latching robot for programmable self-assembly. It is 50 mm a side cubical robot capable of autonomous, distributed self-assembly in 2D. ( Thesis) [ RISC]
Novel Servo-actuated impulsive release mechnism for the designed grippers using passive magnets. [US provisional patent application filed; status: pending]
Key features: Proposed designs possess: 1. Aerial grasping with passive magnets, 2. Autonomous, and spontaneous grasping 3.  Novel drop mechanism, 4. Low power consumption, and 5. Feedback.
Passive aerial grasping
Two papers on the way in 2018; One is submitted to AIM 2018, and the second one is to be submitted to IEEE Transanctions on Robotics. The latter will have a complete coverage of all the design aspects.
Intelligent mechanisms and novel designs for aerial grasping of ferrous objects using permanent magnets; several working designs for a variety of commercially available multi-rotor platforms with superior capabilities. [ RISC]
Challenge I involved the autonomous landing of a un-manned aerial vehicle on a moving platform in a pre-defined infinity loop. The speed of the landing platform was 15 kph at max. Team KAUST participated.
Challenge II required an un-manned ground vehicle to autonomously  search and locate a panel in the field and perform a 360 degrees rotattion of a valve after grasping the right tool. Team KAUST finished third.
MBZIRC 2017
Challenge III desired the cooperative autonomy among a team of un-manned aerial vehicles to search, locate, pick-up and transport several ferrous objects spread randomly in a field to a desired location.
Participation and representation of Team KAUST as a member of Robotics Intelligent Systems & Control (RISC) Lab in the inaugural version of MBZIRC; major contribution: Challenge I & III, minor contribution (on-spot): Challenge II. [ RISC]
Quadrotors  serve as a great test bench for implementing different control techniques. Out of several strategies, this project dealt with PID and LQR based implementation for altitude stabilization.
Development of all electronics and mechanical components including air-frame were done in-house from scratch with the exception of the electronic speed controllers for the brushless motors.
Altitude control of a UAV
System Integration was a crucial part of the project as well as the speed for the algorithm controlling the attainment of desired altitude, which had to be much faster than the natural dynamics of the quadrotor.
The objective of this project was to achieve the altitude control of a quadcopter. Customised frame and Proportional  Integral Derivative (PID) control were utilized for implementation. ( Thesis) [ PIEAS]
Founded in 1954, CERN sits astride the Franco-Swiss border near Geneva. It was one of Europe's first joint ventures and now has 22 member states. More information about CERN here.
ALICE (A Large Ion Collider Experiment) is an experiment at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) optimized for the study of heavy-ion collisions (~2.76 TeV). More information on ALICE here.
Readout of HMPID
HMPID is devoted to the identification of charged hadrons, i.e. pions, kaons and protons in the range from 1 to 5 GeV/c. Readout is a way to translate the detection in terms of data to analyze later on.
A project for improvement of High Momentum Particle Identification Detector (HMPID) in ALICE, during the CERN Summer student programme; included Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) coding in VHDL. ( Report | Poster) [ CERN]