Friday, July 9, 2010

Post Trip Reflection

First of all I'd like to thank all of the ICEX team and our Norwegian counterparts for putting together a truly special experience. Great job everyone!

View from the short hike.

Wow...what an experience. European culture, cutting-edge engineering, new friends, old friends, and robots! Who could ask for more? This trip really did have a bit of everything. First it was the sad news of Frank missing the flight, then it was the sheer beauty of Norway, and finally the great results we obtained from our experiments. When I first joined the team back at the beginning of the year there is no way I could have predicted all of the happenings of this program. Yet that is what it was all about. It was about dealing with the logistics of international collaboration. It was about learning how to problem solve and think on the fly. And most of all it was about working and growing together as a team. It is so satisfying to be able to say that we made a difference. Our team sailed into uncharted waters and emerged with an extremely successful set of data that will hopefully have international implications.

The engineering side of the trip was both fun and educational. We definitely pulled some late nights getting the IVER up and running, but all things considered, the technical side of things went quite smoothly. Aside from a few hardware issues the IVER performed flawlessly, which made our lives easy. The hardest part of the testing was spotting the IVER between dives as it ran its course through the bay!

Going swimming!

Shot with the IVER.
From the cultural side of the trip, Norway was truly amazing. Having never been to Europe, there was definitely a culture shock. Whether it was the layout of the cities, the sheer quantity of round abouts, or the personalities of locals, it was definitely a change. But a good one! I loved every bit of it. All of the people we met were extremely helpful and nice, the country itself was absolutely beautiful, and the city life seemed fun and lively. I definitely foresee a vacation to Norway in my immediate future to further explore the beautiful country and maybe learn a thing or two about cross-country skiing.

Delicious Salmon prepared at the Sletvik Field Station

Overall, this trip was great. It not only gave me a new international experience but also motivated me to pursue the push to apply robotics to new fields. Thanks to everyone!

ICEX team (minus Chris) at TBS

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