Departure

Despite putting off Jeju to finish his work, Ryoma could not fully complete his work for reasons that will be explained later. Regardless, Dr. Kim and the rest of the lab seemed to appreciate the work he accomplished anyway, particularly his work on the new Unity simulation. On the last lab meeting, Ryoma gave a final, heartfelt speech (which was sadly not recorded) and had a special farewell lunch the next day.

Some food items at the last lunch. Paid for by Dr. Kim.

Ryoma with some of his labmates minutes before he left.

On Wednesday, Ryoma finished packing up and headed to Incheon Airport to leave Korea.

The entrance to Incheon Airport.

A robot at Incheon Airport. Perhaps technologies similar to the things Ryoma worked on will be deployed on similar machines.

Now at Incheon, the members of the cohort at Terminal 2 (Busa, Kervin, Ryoma, and Nathan) were hungering for a breakfast at Egg Drop at Kervin’s suggestion. Unfortunately, reality reared its ugly head when they learned that baggage check-in was still 3 hours away, to which Busa volunteered to watch over the baggage. Still, the nearest Egg Drop franchise was at the city of Incheon and not the airport, making it an hour away by train. So, the cohort instead opted for one last lunch at Terminal 1 before entering security.

A panoramic of the view outside Terminal 2 at Incheon.

Taking off from Incheon. Officially, this was goodbye to Korea.

Work

Ryoma was able to successfully set up local servers and communications lines to allow communication between Unity and ROS using ROS#. However, there was one major problem: the package did not have any capabilities to simulate depth cameras. This last-minute situation led to a sudden explosion of complexity in his project, as he now had to learn about shader coding to allow Unity’s camera plugins to perceive depth. He was able to extract this information from the camera’s perception, but he could not get them to create point clouds as he did with ROS.

The depth camera simulator being deployed in unity while looking at several  game objects set in different distances from each other. Darker colors indicate that the pixel is close to the camera, while lighter colors indicate further distances. While it is possible to deform this image to become 3D, Ryoma was not able to do so, as he could not sample this image and translate each pixel according to darkness.

It may not be a complete loss for him though. Ryoma spent tuesday teaching Duckpod’s team leader, Hongmin, how to use Unity and transferring his assets to him so that his work could be continued. He may even continue collaborating with him to produce a paper. Time will tell if these discussions will amount to anything.