Merced Sun-Star: MESA Lab Students Gaining Recognition

September 2, 2015

Professor YangQuan Chen has many reasons to be proud of his Mechatronics, Embedded Systems and Automation Lab.

Besides being extremely popular – so popular the lab has to turn away applicants – the lab now has nine Federal Aviation Administration certificates to fly unmanned aerial vehicles around the Central Valley. But perhaps the best reason is the success of the students, who are being recognized and honored for the work they do in the MESA Lab.

Graduate student Tiebiao Zhao, lab manager Brandon Stark and undergraduate researcher Jacqueline Clow took third place in the Food Systems Innovations category at the annual Berkeley Big Ideas competition. Their project, known as the SmartMelonDrone, uses software the team developed on low-cost UAVs to help manage the quantity and quality of melon produce.

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