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    Aerial Imaging and Remote Sensing for Precision Agriculture and Environmental Stewardship &
    Air-propelled Instrumented Robotic Sensory Platforms for Assateague Coastline Environmental Studies

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    Robotics, Control Systems, and Mechatronics University of Maryland Eastern Shore Mechatronics and Automation Laboratory (UMESMAL) facility is being utilized to support outreach, educational, and research activities consistent with the broad umbrella embraced by the term ‘mechatronics’. The term ‘mechatronics’ have evolved from ‘robotics’ and embodies the synergy of various engineering disciplines to develop optimally configured products that integrate mechanical design, instrumentation and data- acquisition, control theory, soft computing, computer aided engineering(CAE), information technology, robotics, machine vision, and flexible automation. Ongoing activities in the UMESMAL includes (i) robotics, machine vision, and flexible automation, (ii) real-time control using modern software and hardware platforms (iii) design and development of autonomous mobile robotic platforms on land, water, and air in collaboration with NASA with various applications including agricultural automation and environmental monitoring, and (iv) computer aided engineering and simulation efforts related to engineering mechanics and control systems. The facility also includes remote sensing apparatus and camera systems for manned airplanes, small remote and autonomous controlled aerial platforms, as well as kites. The remote sensing efforts are conducted in collaboration with NASA and USDA, and supports ongoing cross disciplinary research efforts in agricultural automation and precision agriculture. The facility supports K-12 outreach, as well as education and research involving STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Agriculture and Mathematics) majors at UMES. Engineering and engineering technology students have worked in teams in the facility to participate and win top spots in national and international robotic design competitions arranged by organizations such as American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) and American Society for Mechanical Engineers (ASME) in recent years.