Drone research takes flight for visiting student

Globalink intern at Polytechnique Montréal helping pilot drone fleets

But regardless of drones’ ultimate applications, researchers are still trying to determine how to effectively operate more than one at a time.

Joris Tillet, an engineering student from École Nationale Supérieure de Techniques Avancées (ENSTA) de Bretagne in France, has come to Montreal for the summer to help tackle this problem with Professor David Saussié at Polytechnique Montréal. Their research team at the Mobile Robotics and Autonomous Systems Laboratory is focused on developing an algorithm for operating multiple drones at once and developing methods for how each drone can communicate with others in its fleet.

The project, offered through Mitacs’ Globalink Research Internship, was a natural fit for Joris’s interest in robotics. “My program requires me to do a three-month internship abroad, so I figured I would travel somewhere within Europe,” he explains. “But when I heard about Globalink through ENSTA’s international office, I was curious about coming to Canada.”

With a year left in his undergraduate degree, Joris is certain he’ll pursue further studies in robotics after gaining valuable experience during his time at Polytechnique. “The research is still in early phases, so we’re not sure yet whether it will have defense or civil applications yet,” he explains. But the opportunity to participate in a summer internship — and explore Canada at the same time — has been well worth it.

“It’s been great living in Montreal and exploring Toronto, Quebec City, and even some national parks,” he enthuses. “I’d love to come back to Canada as a tourist and maybe even as a researcher!” 

Mitacs thanks the Government of Canada and the Government of Quebec for their support of the Globalink research internship in this story. Across Canada, the Globalink research internship program also receives support from Alberta Innovates, the Government of British Columbia, the Government of New Brunswick, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, the Government of Nova Scotia, the Government of Ontario, the Government of Prince Edward Island, the Government of Saskatchewan, and Research Manitoba.

In addition, Mitacs is pleased to work with the following international partners to support the Globalink program: Universities Australia; the China Scholarship Council; Campus France; the German Academic Exchange Service; Mexico’s Secretariat of Public Education, Tecnológico de Monterrey, and the National Autonomous University of Mexico; and Tunisia’s Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research and Mission Universitaire de Tunisie en Amerique du Nord.

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