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CALEB
CHAMBERLAIN

ABOUT

Skills and experience

EMBEDDED SOFTWARE ENGINEERING

Embedded software presents unique engineering challenges, particularly for large projects. Absent the convenience of an operating system, high level API tools, and basically unlimited memory resources, embedded code can quickly become unmanageable and dangerously unstable.

In this context, properly utilizing standard "gang-of-four" code architectures is both important and difficult. Tailoring industry-standard coding architectures to the capabilities of embedded processors can be challenging. In one case, I developed an asynchronous event system that operated on an 8051 microcontroller with only 100 bytes of stack space.

ROBOTICS

Robotics represents the ultimate challenge in design and integration; state-of-the-art robotics systems bring together elements in software design, artificial intelligence, mechanical and electrical engineering, and state estimation and control theory, among other things.

I entered the robotics world as a graduate student investigating problems in system identification, control, and path planning for unmanned aerial robots. As a student, I leveraged my understanding of state estimation to build and release the world's first fully functional, sub-$200 commercial Attitude and Heading Reference System - the progeny of that first sensor is still on the market today.

My strong background in mathematics combined with a breadth of practical, hands-on experience with software development, electrical hardware design, and systems integration positions me to tackle the trickiest of problems.

ELECTRICAL HARDWARE DESIGN

From cell phones to alarm clocks, from spacecraft to children's toys, electrical hardware design is an essential component of virtually every piece of modern technology.

My background in hardware design includes:

  • Analog schematic design and layout
  • Radio Frequency (RF) layout and tuning
  • Antenna design and tuning
  • Digital circuits (MCU/MPU, high-speed digital COM)
  • PCB layout and Design for Manufacturability

PROJECT MANAGEMENT

As a project manager I've taken multiple products from early research and devleopment phases all the way to product release, marketing, and long-term customer support.

My breadth of experience in the development process enables me to anticipate potential problems and to set realistic timelines and cost projections for development. Familiarity with Agile Project Management methods has allowed my teams to work efficiently toward well-defined goals.

PROJECTS

A few of my notable projects

The following is a small sample of some of my past and ongoing projects. Click the images below for more details.

HYDRA power supply
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Game Development
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Autopilot System
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Path Planning and Control
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Projects

HYDRA POWER SUPPLY

The Hydra Power Supply is a triple output DC-DC power supply that accepts a wide range of input sources and provides three independent, software-configurable outputs. This project was interesting because without high-volume sales, it wasn't practical to build and sell. So we launched a successful crowd-funding campaign to get started.

Challenges

Funding this project was interesting, but there were also a number of technical hurdles to overcome - switching regulators, for example, are nominally designed to operate over a narrow range of input and output voltages. On the Hydra, the output voltages could change significantly, as could the input. Consequently, the feedback compensation networks used had to be tuned very carefully to guarantee stability over all possible operating conditions.

Technologies

  • Switching regulator design, layout, and stability testing
  • Embedded firmware, PC-based utility for control
  • CNC Machining, Aluminum Anodization, Laser Engraving
  • iPhone app development

Why it's cool

I prototyped the Hydra and then launched a Kickstarter project to raise money to build it.

Our campaign target of $10,000 was reached in one day. By the end of the fundraising period, we had raised over $90,000 - 9x our initial goal.

GAME DEVELOPMENT

I've always been interested in game development. Even as a middle school student, I was writing text adventure games on an old 286 "IBM Compatible" computer. My later decision to study electrical engineering was motivated in part by my interest in intelligent systems in the real-world. While game development took a back-seat to my studies and my early professional development as an engineer, I've recently started diving once-again into the game development world.

Challenges

Time! As a full-time engineer and entrepreneur, I typically have less time than I'd like to devote to my game development interests. On the other hand, I've found that my well-developed background in mathematics, state estimation, path planning, and control theory gives me a leg up on many tricky problems related to game development. There is a lot of overlap between robotics and machine intelligence, and game development.

Technologies

  • Software engineering
  • Algorithm development
  • Project management

Why it's cool

Games are, in a sense, nothing more than simulations. It turns out that there is a lot of overlap between robotics - which is my specialty - and simulated objects and characters in the game world.

AUTOPILOT

I developed the CPADS Autopilot through my company, CH Robotics, to fulfill the requirements of an Air Force SBIR to deliver a Covert, Precision, Aerial Delivery System (CPADS). My autopilot provides operators the ability to control an autonomous aircraft by giving it high-level commands like "fly this orbit" or "stay on this line."

Challenges

My autopilot had to be flexible enough to be integrated on a variety of aerial platforms, from quadrotors, to gliders, to hand-launchable drones.

Technologies

  • PCB Hardware Development
  • Control Algorithm Development
  • Systems Integration
  • PC-based Control Software

Why it's cool

This aupilot allows an operator to give high-level commands to a drone, like "fly this orbit" or "stay on this line."

PATH PLANNING and CONTROL

A major component of my Masters thesis work involved path planning and control of unmanned aerial robots. Specifically, I developed novel ways of planning paths to maximize observability of a moving ground target from the air.

Challenges

The goal of this project was to plan paths that allowed a fixed-wing UAV to keep "eyes-on" a ground target for as long as possible in urban environments. This is tricky not only because of the effect of occlusions from buildings, but also because the UAV is limited - it can't stop in mid-air, and it can only turn so sharply before crashing or losing the ability to point a camera at the target. My optimization solution had to take into account all of these things to produce optimal paths for ground target observability.

Technologies

  • Algorithm Development
  • Simulation Software

Why it's cool

This project demonstrates how complex problems can be simplified by representing in the world of mathematics - if you can represent reality with an equation, then you immediately have access to a wide variety of tools to solve complex problems.

CONTACT ME

Let me know how I can help you on your next project
CALEB
CHAMBERLAIN
801-400-3829