It is hard to believe that six months passed since I was stepping, worried, out of the terminal in the Schiphol airport, in Amsterdam. Meanwhile I went home once but this is another story. What am I doing at the Technical University of Delft? Well... It's simple: "I'm busy". I work, now, on 4 projects, all software related. Mostly sure you are not interested in what I do with distributed algorithms or domain specific languages. So, I'll present the most interesting project. The QR.
The QR is a Quad Rotor Unmanned Aerial Vehicle developed by another department from the University. We are struggling to do doing the software that will make it fly. The software is made of two parts: one part running on a PC and another running inside the QR. The device is not yet advanced. Currently it has the minimum necessary in order to stabilize in air (gyroscopes, accelerometers and engines). In future, cameras, wireless interfaces and other gadgets will become available.
Today was an important day because we had the first engine test. The first try was not successful but after a bug was fixed we managed to throttle a little the engines (see the movie below). The device cannot fly yet because the stabilization routines are not implemented and no human will be able to control it for more than a few seconds without digital assistance. You may wonder how can one control it: through a joystick that is connected to a PC.
We (computer scientists, electrical engineers, mathematicians, embedded guys and a few others) spend most of the time in building 35 ('The Drebbelweg' or 'DW') and building 36 ('Elektrotechniek, Wiskunde en Informatica' or 'EWI'). There we have almost all the facilities we ever wanted need: computers, blackboards, coffee machines, cafeteria, small library (compared to the central one), private rooms for meetings, etc.
The images above are in building 35. The one below is in building 36.
When we get bored this is what happens. Actually others got bored - we found the trapped doll in the lobby of building 36...
Hope you got an idea about the life in Delft. There is a lot of fun and joy, even inside the university. However, don't think the requirements are low. Why do you think the building are open every day until 22:00 (10PM) and people actually stay until closing there?