– Florida Tech freshman Jason Schuler was one of just two students chosen for the U.S. Army Operation Cherry Blossom Award. The award was made at the Intel
International Science and Engineering Fair, held recently in Cleveland, Ohio.
Schuler, who won for a robotics/artificial intelligence project, was selected for the honor along with a freshman from Princeton University (for a
different project). The two will go to Japan to meet with military VIPs, U.S. dignitaries at the U.S. Embassy, and the Japanese Royal Family.
Schuler built two identical robots for the project, each capable of “walking” and “learning,” via artificial intelligence. The robots can determine a
routine that uses the most efficient sequence of movements to successfully execute steps. Also, the two robots can communicate with each other for
cooperative learning, which nearly halves the learning time.
The Army is interested in the project’s cooperative artificial intelligence aspect. Of possible use in unmanned warfare devices, this could obviate the
need for remote control. A robot can “scout” for long periods of time with virtually no human interaction necessary.
“The applications are endless because the cooperative learning concept is the main point. This concept could help create robots that mow your lawn faster
to unmanned aerial vehicles that can find a bush fire and notify a park ranger,” said Schuler.
Schuler, a mechanical engineering major, also won a U.S. Navy scholarship and took second place in the Engineering category at the Intel event. Earlier, at
the Pinellas Regional Fair, Schuler won Best of Fair, first place in the Engineering category, the Hoover Young Engineer Award, U.S. Army Award and a U.S.
Schuler graduated in May 2003 from the Center for Advanced Technologies, a magnet program at St. Petersburg ‘s Lakewood High School.