Frederick Wachter

About Me

I am a Robotics Engineer with a background in Mechanical Engineering and over a year of professional and academic experience with ROS. I have experience with full-cycle design, integration, and testing for platform development for maritime, aerial, and ground vehicles. Frederick has also has taken multiple leadership roles in teams ranging from 4 to 100 student and professional members along with experience with project management, product development, sponsorship, and website development.

I am currently finishing my Bachelor's and Master's degree in Mechanical Engineering from Drexel University, and I will graduate in June 2018. I am looking to continue graduate studies upon graduation along with gaining professional expereince from a full-time job in the field of robotics.

This website provides an overview of various internships, projects, and related activities that I have done during my time Drexel University.


Below is a list of platforms that I have built and/or worked with during my time at Drexel University along with descriptions and links.



Winter and Spring 2014

I built and flew a hexcopter as part of the 2014 ASME Student Design Competition along with another team member who did the design work. We were third place.

2D Mapping Robot

2D Mapping Robot

Spring 2014

My freshman design project involved building a 2D mapping mobile robot. I worked on this project with four other team members.

Robot Arm

Cementitous Vessel Sprayer

Summer 2014

As part of the STARS research program at Drexel, I developed the groundwork of an automated cementitius vessel spraying robot.


Three Wheeled Omni-Wheeled Robot

Fall 2014 to Spring 2015

I built the controller for Drexel ASME's three omni-wheeled robot for display purpose for promotion for the organization.

Drexel Hyperloop

Hyperloop Transportation Pod

June 2015 to January 2017

I was primarily the sponsorship head and project manager for the Drexel Hyperloop team. Biggest accomplishment: raised $70,000.



March 2016 to September 2016

Interfaces the YuMi ABB industrial robot with ROS and MoveIt! library and presented work to the President of ABB Switzerland.

Versatile Ground Robot

Versatile Ground Robot

Fall 2016 to Spring 2017

Performed the chassis design, build, and integration with four other subsystem, designed and built the electronics, and programmed the robot.

Autonomous Flight

Aerial Platform

Spring 2017 to Summer 2017

Developed helical flight patterns for an autonomous UAV using the PX4 flight controller through the ROS framework.

Autonomous Boat

Maritime Platform

Spring 2017 to Summer 2017

Performed sensor data aquisition and integration, designed and integrated sensors packages and components, and converted autonomy code over to the ROS framework.



Spring 2017 to Spring 2018

Performing development of maze solving algorithm, system integration, manufacturing, and programming of the robot. Working with three other team members.

Swerve Drive Robot

Swerve Drive Robot

Summer 2017 to Spring 2018

Building a highly nimble, high torque, high load bearing platform that is ROS-enabled with integrated autonomy

Intern at Lockheed Martin

Lockheed Martin

Robotics Engineer at ATL Robotics and Intelligent Systems Group

March 2017 to September 2017

Performed full system design, development, and integration of robotics systems for platform development. Development work was done primarily in ROS for integration of sensors, developing visualizations, automation, and data analysis and processing. Worked primarily with unmanned maritime and aerial platforms.

Intern at Autonomous Systems Lab ETHZ

Autonomous Systems Laboratory

Robotics and Development Engineer at Swiss Federal Institute of Technology

March 2016 to September 2016

Interfaced ABB YuMi robot with the MoveIt! software in ROS C++ to automate the kinematic and dynamic model and to integrate existing algorithms for path planning and controls. Integrated the Leap Motion sensor with YuMi in C++ for interactive manipulation. Worked with machine shop to develop a stand and a new attachment for YuMi. Presented work to the President of ABB Switzerland and his colleagues. All contributions are public on GitHub.

Intern at Production Technology West

Production Technology West

Research Engineer at University West (Hogskolan Vast)

September 2014 to March 2015

Developed algorithms to determine robustness of weld defect detection from an IR camera with various light sources. Built a GUI in MATLAB to interface with algorithms to display defect locations to user. Developed tests to image defects on welds using an IR camera with various light sources in order to benchmark the defect detection algorithms. Designed and built a borescope for an IR camera to image welds inside of vanes.

Swerve Robotic Platform

Swerve Robotic Platform

Software Developer and Roboticist

June 2016 to Present

Working with three other students on developing a highly nimble, high torque, high load supporting platform that is ROS-enabled with integrated autonomy targeted for the warehouse optimization and entertainment industry. I am building the software for the platform within the ROS framework, developing simulations in Gazebo, developing state estimation algorithms, and the team project manager.



Algorithm and Simulation Developer

June 2016 to Present

Working with a mechanical and computer engineer along with a professor in mechanical engineering to develop a fully custom robot and controls system to autonomously move the robot through a maze. Developed the simulation of the robot in a maze in MATLAB as a visualization tool for testing mapping and maze solving algorithms for optimization of algorithms and translated algorithm to C++.

Drexel Hyperloop

Drexel Hyperloop Team

Steering Committee Member and Sponsorship Head

June 2015 to Present

Primarily involved in determining team direction and facilitated sponsorships. Developed the original organizational structure, interfaced between university advisors, university staff, and sponsors. Raised over $65,000 as sponsorship head.


Light Interactive Technology

Programmer and Team Member

March 2016 to Present

Developed a simulation in MATLAB that displays 3D contours using a discrete array of circular objects dangling from a motor at the top of the structure. This simulation was primarily used as a prototype of the full system and generated data used to build an animation of the product.


Three Omni-Wheeled Robot


March 2015 to September 2015

Wrote controller for a three omni-wheeled robot for interfacing with a remote controller and encorders in Arduino C. Learned how to use PID and interrupts using an Arduino and dealing with remote controllers, encorder feedback, and data smoothing techniques.

NIA RASCAL Competition

Revolutionary Aerospace Student Competition Academic Linkage

Team Member and Presenter

Fall 2013 to Summer 2015

The main purpose of this competition is to develop space habitats or missions that could be used on future missions by the space industry. Our team was accepted two years in a row to attend and present at their yearly forum in front of NIA, NASA, SpaceX, and many other space companies.

ASCE Concrete Canoe Competition

ASCE Concrete Canoe Competition

Team Member and Rower

Fall 2013 to Spring 2016

The purpose of this competition is to build a light-weight concrete canoe that is able to meet the relevent safety standards of a vessel and compete with other universities for the best design, presentation, and best scores in the canoe races. As a member of this team, I have been involved with the mixing and spraying processes along with the team who will be competeing in the races.

ASME Minigolf Course

ASME Minigolf Course


May 16th, 2015

The Drexel ASME Chapter participated in a carnival event where our executive board made a miniature golf course that we brought to the event. The purpose of this event was to increase awareness regarding our student origanization. I provided the electonrics and progamming to make the gear spin as shown in the videos.

ASME Student Design Compeitition

ASME Student Design Compeitition


April 25th, 2015

As a member of the Drexel chapter of ASME, I was a member of a team competing in the ASME Student Design Competition (SDC) for the 2014 and 2015 competition. For the 2014 competition I was in charge of integration, and for the 2015 competition I performed the programming. More info can be found at the links below.


Learning GUI's in MATLAB


Winter 2015

To learn how to build GUI's properly in MATLAB, I built the snake and 2040 games using MATLAB which allowed me to interface algorithms and user inputs with the GUI. The files for these games can be found at the link below.

Manufacturing of Cementitious Vessels

Automated Manufacturing of Cementitious Vessels


June 2014 to September 2014

As a researcher in STAR (Students Tackling Advanced Research) research program at Drexel, I worked with Dr. Joseph Martin to look into an automated concrete spraying process for cementitious vessels to be used by the Drexel Concrete Canoe Team.

ASCE Mead Paper Competition 2014

ASCE Mead Paper Competition 2014


April 12th, 2014

For the 2014 ASCE Concrete Canoe Region 2 competition, I competed in the ASCE Mead Technical Paper Competition whose goal is to solve or analyze a previous, current, or future civil engineering problem. The submission was in the form of a paper, which is then presented at the regional competition. I placed 2nd at this competition

2D Room Mapping

Freshman Design Project

Researcher and Team Member

March 2014 to June 2014

As a part of my freshman design project, I worked with a team of 3 other students to develop a 2 DOF room mapping mobile robot. We 3D printed the chasis that allowed for the 4 IR, ultrasonic, and accelerometer sensors along with 2 motors, an Arduino Uno, a servo, and a PCB to fit on an 8"x5" base that was able to gather distance data and maneuver around a room.

Hackathon on Embedded Systems

Hackathon on Embedded Systems

Programmer and Team Member

November 9th, 2013

The Drexel chapter for IEEE held their first hackathon in 2013 as a way to introduce local students to embedded systems with the goal of creating a larger interest in this field. I competed with a team of 3 other freshman where we learned basic programming and how to work with an Arduino Uno and sensors.

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