This page will provide you with some more information about the people behind the project.

Zeppy-Team II

All four students that founded Zeppy the project (see below) were offered to continue their career in Artificial Intelligence in the USA in 2008. A great opportunity they were willing to grab with both hands, but since Zeppy never was never granted a visum they had to find him a new home with new loving parents. The following four students were willing to welcome the blimp with open arms and are determined to take the project to new heights

JoëlJoël Kuiper is a third-year AI bachelor student who likes to focus on the software aspect of the zeppelin. In this project he’d like to work out some of the details on self learning sensor motor couplings and to design an architecture for modular priority based behavior. In his spare time he’s a simple Apple loving nerd who likes to fiddle with abstract ideas. Since we thought it would be a good idea to keep track of where our money goes, he’s also assigned treasurer of the project.

MargreetMargreet Vogelzang is also a third-year AI student, who hopes to complete her Bachelor in 2010. She is more interested in the hardware of the zeppelin, and wants to start designing and building a new gondola as soon as possible. When she is not working on the zeppelin, on her education, or for the studyassociation, she is playing soccer or just hanging out with friends.

DirkAs the only Computer Science student and the only fourth-year’s student in the project group, Dirk Zittersteyn has a large interest in both the hard- and software side of the project. One of his personal ambitions is the redesign of both the body of the blimp and the structure of the code. When he isn’t working on the project or the third year of his study, you can find him rebuilding old pc’s, coffee makers and other hardware.

WouterWouter Kruijne started his AI career in 2006 and hasn’t really encountered anything in the field that couldn’t grab his interest since. Although he became involved with the project very last-minute, he is very anxious to see how far the Zeppy-project can go and how intelligent a huge bag filled with helium can become. Also he is very curious about how much there is to learn on the way about software, hardware, and especially about (emergent) behavior. When the Zeppy-project and or his teammates are not his concern for a while he likes to spend his time visiting concerts and festivals or playing the drums.

Zeppy-Team I

Inspired by a course on robotics, four students from the AI department of the University of Groningen got the idea to build a robotic autonomous blimp. When we found an enthusiastic supervisor, Tijn van der Zant, who had a lot of experience with robot-projects, the project started to grow and got more and more serious. Besides fellow students, and now colleagues, we are also friends.

JaldertJaldert Rombouts is a master student at the AI department of the University of Groningen. He received his bachelor’s degree in July 2006 with honours. His scientific interests are focused on robotics, machine learning, pattern recognition and genetic algorithms. When he is not working with Zeppy, he also likes to play the piano and work on his beautiful 24” iMac. In this project, Jaldert has the additional responsibility to make sure all financial issues are being taken care of. He hopes to find a great place somewhere on the other side of the world to graduate next year.

TessaTessa Verhoef finished her bachelor’s in July 2007, but already started following master courses at the AI department of the University of Groningen since September 2006. Besides social robotics, she is also interested in language, computer vision and biologically inspired AI research. As the only female team member she is the one who likes to make sure Zeppy looks good and attracts the attention in a positive way. She also has the additional task to show the project to the outside world, for instance by updating this Weblog. In her spare time she takes every opportunity to run to the gym and work out.

MatthijsMatthijs Zwinderman is the dare devil of our team. When he is not busy with Zeppy or other high tech AI stuff, he likes to go completely back to basic with his scouting friends or practice dangerous martial arts like Aikido and Ninjitsu. In Januari 2007 he received his bachelor’s degree and currently he is following master courses at the AI department in Groningen. When we have meetings about our project, Matthijs always mails the minutes immediately to everyone in order to make sure we all know what has been discussed. He also is our literature collector and arranges all books and articles in the appropriate order.

TijsTijs Zwinkels is our mechanical man. Before he started to get interested in AI, he studied Electrical Engineering for one year, so he has the most experience with hardware. He also finished a complete Computer Science education before he started with the AI master in Groningen last year. In this project he is our central problem solver. If there are difficulties with either the hardware or C++, Tijs is always called for help. When all trouble is solved and Zeppy sleeps, Tijs likes to go for a swim or go deeper and dive with his diving society.