I'm simulating retirement after a few years of Afghanistan, Iraq and non-disclosed locations. My interest is robotics and telepresence in particular.
I've been consulting in aviation/avionics for years and have a very small engineering company. I'm a EE but most of my career has been with hands on mil-spec avionics except for about one decade. During that time, I designed gps aided airborne equipment for commercial aviation and terrestrial applications.
I've built one robot-like differential drive vehicle that was my self intro to telepresence. I hacked a crude web-interface for the operator, then turned it over to my relatives to chase me around my own house. After a few months of discovery about how annoying my relatives can be the bot developed a mysterious incurable spin-lock (wink). That was about 3 years ago, now I'm making a replacement with Raspberry Pi (for web-ish things) and Arduino (for soft real-time). I'm hoping on this design pass to make it so someone else could replicate from web-available open documentation for software as well as hardware. So far I've written my own arduino and RPi code but at some point I'll drill down into something like ROS to see if a port is worth it. I want to make some of the peculiar physical parts with laser cutter and 3D printer. Those skills appear to be known in FamiLAB so I'll be trying to learn that sort of thing. I'm totally willing to pass along any of my skill-sets for anyone that would need help for embedded systems, microcontrollers and such.
Since I see there are a few NASA types about I'll add that I learned my technician skills before and during engineering school at NASA Langley as a tunnel-grunt. (instrumentation, installation, troubleshooting in wind tunnels).
I'll be at the upcoming open house session.