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2014 National Robotics Week Celebration

April 10, 2014 - April 11, 2014, 12:00 - 6:00 PM, Campus

The Robotics Institute will celebrate the fifth annual National Robotics Week on April 10 & 11 with lectures, project demonstrations, the annual Mobot (mobile robot) races and a reception for RI affiliated people.

April 10
12:00 - 1:30 p.m.: Teruko Yata Memorial Lecture in Robotics
Location: Rashid Auditorium, 4401 Gates Hillman Center
Pre-registration is required.

Speaker: Marc Raibert, CTO & Director, Boston Dynamics

Title of talk: Walk, Bound, Gallop, Climb

Abstract: Dynamic robots with advanced control systems and high-performance mechanical designs are leaving the laboratory and entering the world. They can operate in rough terrain, where most existing vehicles that use wheels and tracks can not go. In this talk I will give a status report on the robots we are developing at Boston Dynamics, such as LS3, the DARPA-funded follow-on to BigDog, Cheetah, a fast-running quadruped, and Atlas, an anthropomorphic robot designed to explore real-world tasks.

Teruko Yata was a postdoctoral fellow in the Robotics Institute from 2000 until her untimely death in 2002. After graduating from the University of Tsukuba, working under the guidance of Prof. Yuta, she came to the United States. At Carnegie Mellon, she served as a post-doctoral fellow in the Robotics Institute for three years, under Chuck Thorpe. Teruko's accomplishments in the field of ultrasonic sensing were highly regarded and won her the Best Student Paper Award at the International Conference on Robotics and Automation in 1999. It was frequently noted, and we always remember, that "the quality of her work was exceeded only by her kindness and thoughtfulness as a friend." Join us in paying tribute to our extraordinary colleague and friend through this most unique and exciting lecture.

A School of Computer Science Distinguished Lecture

2:00 – 3:30 pm: SPECIAL RI TALK
Location: Rashid Auditorium, 4401 Gates Hillman Center
Pre-registration is required.

Speaker: Boris Sofman, Co-Founder & CEO, ANKI

Title: Consumer Robotics: Story and Lessons

Abstract: Anki is a robotics and artificial intelligence company founded by 3 RI PhD students with the goal of bringing these technologies into mass-market consumer products (we now have 11 RI graduates at Anki). Anki's first product, Anki DRIVE, is the first game to combine the speed and excitement of scale model car racing with the gameplay, weapons, and characters of video games. Launched in October 2013 in partnership with Apple, each car in DRIVE understands it's position, can move incredibly precisely, and can think and drive for themselves with unique skills and personalities if not driven by humans. This creates an unprecedented level of interaction and intelligence in physical characters in a mass-market consumer product. In this talk I'll share a bit of the Anki story and some of the lessons learned in our journey: developing a consumer product from prototype to mass production (and how this deviates from PhD style research), aggressively balancing price and functionality, quickly reacting to new technologies and trends, fund-raising, growing a diverse team, and working with retail / marketing / PR.

2:30-4:00 pm ACM GROUP EVENT

Hosted by the School of Computer Science
Location: Rashid Auditorium, 4401 Gates Hillman Center
Tickets will be available at the door but pre-registration is strongly suggested. Registrants must arrive by 6:15 pm or your seats will be released.

Short films, music videos, and advertisements featuring stories told with robots: real and animated, good and evil, cute and ugly.

Discussions to follow.

April 11
Pre-registration is required.

12:00 noon - 2:00 pm: 20TH ANNUAL MOBOT RACES
Location: Walkway outside of Wean Hall
Open to the public

3:00 - 4:00 pm: THE 15th GATE: MOBOT AWARD CEREMONY and WRAP-UP
Location: Rashid Auditorium – Gates & Hillman 4401 – 3:00 pm

4:00 - 6:00 pm: 
Location: Planetary Robotics Lab Highbay - 1st floor, Gates and Hillman Centers
Pre-registration is required.

If you have any specific questions about the National Robotics Week open
house please email Debbie Tobin at

To pre-register please click HERE.

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