[email protected] A&M: Helping Ensure Men and Women in Uniform Return Safely Home

[email protected] A&M: Helping Ensure Men and Women in Uniform Return Safely Home


What motivates me about working in problems
of national security? My father was in the military and when I was middle school aged,
he bought me the code breakers book and we were developing different types of cryptography
algorithms. I kind of got interested in sketch recognition
by accident. I became interested in sketch recognition
because it helps solve problems where the only good way to express an idea is through
drawing. The ideas is that you want to allow people
with a system the way that is most natural for them. One of the problems that we are
trying to solve is a problem that was proposed to us by the Lieutenant General Helmick, who
is the XVIII Airborne Corps Commanding General. I spoke with him and one of the big issues
they have is actually assembling on the field. Their job is to basically go up in a plane
in the middle of the night and jump out of the plane and complete their missions under
a cover of darkness. These soldiers are confronted with a really hard task and they can’t really
see where they’re going, they can’t talk to each other, and they have to locate a rendezvous
point where they can all meet up and get their equipment so they can complete their mission. The purpose of this system was to create a
navigation aid for paratroopers, to help them navigate to their rendezvous points quickly
and safely. The GeoTrooper system is specifically designed
to solve the assembly area problem and is an Android based program. We helped the soldiers
navigate to where they want to go. During our testing, we set up three different
drop zones and all of our troops navigated to those drop zones in less than ten minutes,
all three of them, not just one, so it did really well. We have a vest so you can just feel where
you want to go. The reason why this is significant and really important is because you don’t
want the soldier to be looking at their phone. It helps you orient yourself. So basically
it’ll tap on one shoulder if it wants you to go to the left, it’ll tap on the right
shoulder to go to the right. Being able to interact with them and seeing
what their job is like, what their concerns are, what their challenges are, allowed us
to add additional features to the GeoTrooper system that kind of made it surpass other
systems. We’ve been funded by a number of funding agencies. I really enjoyed creating a system that not
only I knew somebody would use but it would have a significant impact on not only the
way they do their job, but their safety, and whether or not they came home.

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