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As most of you know, last week was National Robotics Week. On Saturday we went to Boston’s Robot Block Party at the Museum of Science and had an amazing time.
There was a Roomba and a Scooba give away. iRobot was there in full force and even had a Packbot that handed out free stickers.
We also saw several robots from FIRST and watched some of their competitions.
The highlight for us though, was the Panel Discussion titles Robots in 2031. The panel included Dr. Cynthia Breazeal from MIT’s Media Lab, iRobot CEO Colin Angle, FIRST President Jonathan Dudas and FIRST veteran Catherine Pierce. The moderator was Jake Ward from Popular Science.
Our favorite story from the panel is one Colin Angle told of his two year old daughter at the breakfast table eating Cheerios. Some Cheerios had fallen out of the bowl and onto the table. His daughter brushed the cereal onto the floor, so Colin asked what happened. His daughter Darcy replied, “Don’t worry daddy, the robot will get it.”
Don’t worry daddy, the robot will get it.
We never had that option when I was a kid. Will kids soon be feeding robots unwanted vegetables from the dinner table like brussels sprouts?
The second take away was from Dr. Cynthia Breazeal referring to the state of robots in 2031.
There’s going to be a whole menagerie of robots out there.
Thanks for a fabulous robot block party!
See more photos of the action after the break.
Heather Knight is currently a PhD student at the Carnegie Mellon Robotics Institute. Before getting to Carnegie Mellon she studied at MIT and even worked at Aldebaran Robotics for a while.
She was kind enough to answer a few questions for us for National Robotics Week.
RL: When you were at MIT did you get a chance to work with Kismet or any of the other cool social robots?
HK: I actually have a playlist of some of my favorite social robot videos, including several I’ve worked on, here: YouTube/Marilyn Monrobot.
As a freshman at MIT, I became a student researcher at Dr. Cynthia Breazeal’s Personal Robotics Group. She is the creator of Kismet , and founder of the field of social robots. You can read her seminal book on the subject, Designing Social Robots. That book is one of my favorites, right up there with Clifford Nass’s The Media Equation and Rosalind Picard’s Affective Computing.
Feel free to flip through some of the social robot, artistic and technical projects I’ve worked on on MarilynMonrobot.com’s project page. Cyberflora and the Sensate Bear, part of the Huggable Project, were particularly seminal for me.
In celebration of the new National Robotics Week we are giving away some prizes.
Leave a comment here by midnight east coast time on 4/13, this Tuesday, and we will randomly pick the winners.
We are giving away two Robot Living t-shirts.
The t-shirts are medium or large and come in olive green with yellow graphics.
Good luck and may the best man, er robot, win.
Don’t forget that Nation Robotics Week starts tomorrow!
The Boston Museum of Science has activities all week long ending in a block party.
Here are some of the block party activities.
National Robotics Week: Robot Block Party Saturday, April 17
Current Science & Technology Stage
Catch these live presentations, along with videos of fascinating robotic designs.
Blue Wing, Level 1 10:00 a.m. Working in Robotics
Panel discussion, iRobot
10:30 a.m. Robotic Gaming Tom Dusenberry, Robonica
11:30 a.m. Presentation Harvest Automation
12:30 p.m. Talon Robots Bob Quinn, QinetiQ North America
1:30 p.m. Getting Started in Robotics At Any Age Mike Ciaraldi, Worcester Polytechnic Institute
2:30 p.m. Robots and Custom Mosaics Ted Acworth, Artaic Innovative Mosaic
3:30 p.m. Kiva Mobile Fulfillment System Benge Ambrogi, Kiva Systems
Find out what is going on in your area at National Robotics Week and don’t forget to check back here as we will be giving away some prizes later on in the week.
Look for events in your area. Shown below are only some the exciting events coming in April.
- New England Botball Regional Tournament and New England Botfest, University of Massachusetts Lowell, April 10
- Robot Block Party, Museum of Science, April 17
- Carnegie Mellon University Robotics Institute 30th Anniversary Open House
- Announcement of the Class of 2010 Robotics Hall of Fame Inductees
- Carnegie Science Center Café Scientifique Event
San Francisco, Calif.
- Young Innovators Day, The Tech Museum in Silicon Valley, April 11
- Robot Block Party, Stanford University, April 14
- Robots in Action, Adept Technology, April 16