This is a guest post and part of our ongoing Student Life series
Hi! My name’s Andrew Short, and I’m a PhD student studying high degree-of-freedom motion planning for robotics. I recently had the opportunity to travel and present at the 2016 IEEE Advanced Intelligent Mechatronics (AIM) conference in scenic Banff, Canada.

I presented two papers, attended sessions and workshops, and networked with people from all cross the world. The first paper was a review of recent progress on sampling-based dynamic motion planning algorithms. The second presented some work we did previously implementing an automated welding robot programming system we developed for an industrial client.

There were a couple of standout talks to do with motion planning for a robot that has been developed by University of Technology Sydney (UTS) to inspect the inside of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Getting to talk in detail with the professor behind the system about the approaches they used was very valuable.

There were also a number of interesting talks about mechatronics systems outside my direct area. Particularly engaging topics included surgical robotics, structured light sending and fine art reproduction. However, I think the best outcome from the conference was the contacts I made and some of the ideas I discussed with people outside of sessions.
I also took a couple of week’s holiday and travelled around the west coast of the USA and driving through Canada, which was a whole heap of fun!