I finally implemented SLAM from scratch!

Since I started getting into the field of robotics and autonomous systems, I’ve heard of the term SLAM many times. SLAM in robotics stands for Simultaneous Localization and Mapping, and it consists of a set of algorithms to construct and constantly update the map of an environment that is unknown to the robot while tracking the robot’s position within that map.

To understand how it works, I am coding it from scratch. I got the algorithm working, but it is quite slow at the moment. This makes sense because I’m using a fine resolution of 0.05 meters. The next step is to optimize it to be faster and more accurate. Check the picture above for a sneak peak of the results I’m getting at the moment using SLAM with a Particle Filter (PF) of N = 50 particles, and stay tuned for the final results of the project!

Children’s Mental Health — What Have We Learnt So Far?

This week, I’d like to take a couple of minutes to reflect on what we’ve learnt so far at wēbē.

We started our journey last month with the idea of creating a product in the children’s mental health space. Since then, we have interviewed 20+ users, and identified a few pain points:

  • Pre-teens and teens with mental health disorders often have difficulty adhering to treatment and logging their progress on a daily basis.

… Click here to read the full article on medium!

Image Source: BBC

Lesson #4: Don’t Skip Retros

Last week our team wēbē @ Cornell Tech had a Sprint Retrospective. In Scrum, the retrospective is an opportunity to stop, reflect and learn from the Sprint.

When you have a successful Sprint and upcoming deadlines, it’s tempting to cancel the retro. You think: “We did well so we don’t have much to talk about, plus we’re pressed for time”. I was guilty of this last week — with 6+ other deadlines piled up, all I wanted to do was spend time working towards them.

Continue reading here!

Lesson #3: Learn About Your Audience Before They Learn From You

Pitching a product is easy — pitching one that people remember is difficult. Think about the last presentation that struck a cord with you. Why did it?

Personally, I remember a talk on the importance of creating a community around your product.

As an engineer my work revolves around algorithms, but in my free time I enjoy reading about social psychology and how communities interact. For years I believed these books’ knowledge would stay in my memory under “curiosities”, rather than help me with my “engineering work”. But this talk made me realize…

Click here to read the full article!

Lesson #2: Fail Fast – Cliché but True

Who hasn’t heard the phrase “fail fast” in the start-up environment? I know I have. I must say, however, that today is the day I finally understood its meaning.

At wēbē, we are working on creating a product to help parents better understand their children’s emotional and mental health. Our initial idea was to create a toy that interacts with children aged 3–8 and collects data on their emotional state, which the parents can then visualize on their phone to identify concerning trends. With this idea in mind, we set out to interview children therapists, mental health experts, and parents.

Continue reading this article on here!

Lesson #1: Interview First, Engineer Later

As an engineer, I have a natural tendency to focus on product features — I want to use the latest technology to build the coolest gadgets. However, a couple months into my entrepreneurship journey a hard truth hit me: no matter how amazing the technology is, if it doesn’t serve a purpose, it may as well be a potato (sorry potatoes).

Want to know why? Click here to keep reading!

Photo Source: Great British Chefts

Introducing wēbē!

Mental health disorders have been surrounded by stigma for years, even though 1 in 5 US adults will suffer from a mental health condition during their lifetime. Several factors, including this stigma, contribute to the fact that the average delay between onset of mental illness symptoms and treatment is 11 years. Those are staggering statistics, considering how much progress we have made regarding physical health in the past few years. As someone who has witnessed the devastating effects a mental health disorder can have on a friend or loved one’s life, I began asking myself: “What can I, as an individual, do to lower these numbers?”

To find out, click here!

Pitching Your Product

For the last couple of years I have taken every opportunity I can get to improve my presentation skills and have learnt to appreciate the power of a great product pitch. Being able to pitch your ideas correctly as an engineer definitely makes your products shine brighter!