Skip to main content

A Love of Robots Has Resulted in a Summer Internship for Cañada’s Omar Arriaga

Arriaga will be studying how to control robots from a distance at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center

San Mateo High School graduate Omar Arriaga has always loved building robots. That passion led him to study electrical engineering at Cañada College and has resulted in a prestigious summer internship at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

Arriaga will be working in the center’s Virtual Environments Lab designing teleoperation interfaces for robotic systems. Teleoperations is the science of controlling a machine from a distance. An example is the MARCbot, a low-cost robotic platform used in Iraq for inspecting suspicious packages at a safe distance. The MARCbot is one of the primary robots Arriaga will study as part of his internship.

“The Marshall Space Center has a manipulator for testing the capture of inactive orbital objects such as dead satellites,” Arriaga said. “They also have other robotic systems such as a simple task arm. I will be responsible for establishing a teleoperation connection to one or more of these systems using human interface components in the Virtual Environments Lab.”

Arriaga said he will study the interface between desktop computers, off-the-shelf game controllers, game system body trackers, and virtual reality motion tracking systems and the robotic systems. The goal is to learn more about using the human body and machines to better control robots from afar.

“Testing will include evaluation of the robot’s capabilities, strengths, and constraints associated with different teleoperation controls and displays,” he said. “I learned about the internship through Professor Amelito Enriquez. When I saw the opportunity to work for NASA with the MARCbot, I knew that I had to apply.”

The internship is perfect for Arriaga, who enjoys building different kinds of electronics and robots. “I want a career that enables me to design my own consumer electronics and sell them,” he said. “I am still debating if I want to pursue an MBA in Marketing, so I could market the electronics that I build.”

When he finishes his studies at Cañada, Arriaga plans to transfer to UC Davis.

Arriaga said Cañada has helped his professional development by providing internship opportunities, encouraging his attendance at professional conferences, and providing academic support. He said having the STEM Center on campus provides him with the help he needs on homework.

“Our professors are usually in the STEM Center during office hours and other classmates are always there to study with,” Arriaga said. “Being part of study groups and working as a tutor has helped me excel in my academics.”

Arriaga said students serious about pursuing STEM-related majors should take advantage of the opportunities available at Cañada. “I would tell incoming students to get involved with clubs and take advantage of the programs that Cañada has to offer STEM majors. Networking is the key to success, whether it’s getting to know your professor or one of your peers.”


Popular posts from this blog

Join us for Artistry in Fashion on Saturday, Sept. 28

Have you ever dreamed about being a fashion designer? Do you enjoy the fun and creativity that goes into designing beautiful clothing? If you are a fashionista – or even if you’re not, come join us at Cañada College on Saturday, Sept. 28 from 10 am to 4 pm for the 22nd annual Artistry in Fashion event.

Since 1991, the Cañada College Fashion Department has hosted Artistry in Fashion, bringing together fashion lovers, students, faculty, and premier local designers and fabric artists for an exciting day of fashion and creativity, all for the benefit of student scholarships and materials. Don’t miss a dazzling fashion show by esteemed fashion educator and Director of the Center for Pattern Design, Sandra Ericson. Learn what it takes to become a fashion designer from Cañada's acclaimed fashion instructors. You'll also have the opportunity to buy clothing, jewelry, and other fashions on sale from more than 60 local designers.

Admission is only $10 and benefits the Canada College Fashio…

Alaa Aissi Awarded Prestigious Scholarship

2014 Cañada Graduate Alaa Aissi has been awarded the Regents’ and Chancellor’s Scholarship from UC Berkeley. The scholarship is the most prestigious and the highest honor awarded by the university to an undergraduate. It attracts, retains, and graduates the most sought-after students in the world. After the pool of over 90,000 Cal applicants is thoroughly reviewed, only the top 1 percent of incoming students are invited to be interviewed by Berkeley faculty. From there only two hundred students receive the scholarship. Benefits of the scholarship include a Faculty Mentor, research fellowship opportunity, further networking with faculty and fellow scholars throughout their academic careers, along with a monetary award. Upon receiving this honor, Alaa expressed, “I am humbled by the opportunity to have received this scholarship and to be a part of the Regents’ and Chancellor¹s Scholars Association. I am looking forward to being lauded at the Chancellor¹s residence at this fall’s recept…

Learning English Led to a New Life for Redwood City’s Patricia Segura

After moving from Mexico five years ago, Patricia Segura knew she would have to master English to stay in the United States, find a job, and fulfill her goal of studying to become a nurse. But without command of the language, going to college seemed impossible.

“When I decided to stay in this country, I wanted to keep studying as I was doing in my country,” she said. “Learning English became a new short-term goal in my life. I wanted to study English in college but I had to start from the beginning.”

She began taking community-based English courses offered by Cañada College at Sequoia High School. Later she moved to John Gill Elementary School to take a course because her nephew was in the class. When she finished her course at John Gill, Segura’s professor helped her sign up for the first level of English as a Second Language at Cañada College.

“When I started at Cañada, my goal was to learn English to find a job,” she said. “Now I'm pursuing my goal of becoming a nurse. The more I …