Robotics experts gather for 25th anniversary of Carnegie Mellon's Robotics Institute

October 05, 2004

PITTSBURGH--More than 40 experts in the field of robotics will be gathering at Carnegie Mellon University Oct. 11-14 to participate in the 25th-anniversary celebration of the university's famed Robotics Institute.

They will debate, demonstrate and ponder the future of the field during a four-day series of events that includes a symposium on the Grand Challenges of robotics, demonstrations of leading-edge robotics projects and a series of seminars on the commercialization of robotics research. There will also be tours of robotics laboratories on the university campus and at the National Robotics Engineering Consortium off campus in the Lawrenceville section of Pittsburgh. The celebration will conclude Thursday evening with a concert by Laurie Anderson, NASA's first artist in residence and a leader in the use of technology in her art and music.

See for the complete schedule of events.

The celebration begins the evening of Oct. 11 with the second annual induction into the Robot Hall of Fame. Five distinguished robots, including Honda's ASIMO robot, Astro Boy, C-3PO, Robby the Robot and Shakey will be honored. Steve Wozniak, a founder of Apple Computer and one of the panel of judges who selected the robots, will explain how the panel chose this year's inductees. See www.robothalloffame.orgfor more information.

Tuesday, Oct. 12, begins with sessions that focus on robotics projects in various stages on the road to commercialization. At the same time, a daylong seminar marathon will feature a dozen Carnegie Mellon robotics researchers discussing topics ranging from nanotechnology to biometrics and intra-robot communication. In addition, there will be 10 demonstrations and competitions occurring simultaneously that include Segway soccer-playing robots competing against humans, search-and-rescue robots, a robotic bagpiper, robots that improve healthcare, social robots and personal exploration robots designed for science museums that will give users a chance to have the virtual experience of exploring the terrain on Mars.

October 13 features an international array of top scientists discussing the grand challenges of robotics. Among them are: The symposium will be followed by a panel discussion featuring Robotics Institute founders: Raj Reddy, Carnegie Mellon's Herbert A. Simon University Professor; Angel Jordan, Carnegie Mellon emeritus professor of electrical and computer engineering; and Tom Murrin, Distinguished Service Professor and former dean of Duquesne University business school and former president of Westinghouse Electric Corp.'s Energy and Technology Group.

"The Robotics Institute was founded 25 years ago on the vision of these three gifted men and a $3 million gift from Westinghouse," said Carnegie Mellon University President Jared L. Cohon. "Today the institute is a $50 million enterprise with some 300 faculty, students and staff working on more than 100 projects. Robotics Institute research breakthroughs are changing the fields of agriculture, medicine, mining, transportation, space exploration and national security, to name just a few. Our work has furthered the goals of government agencies, including NASA, DARPA, the Department of Energy, the Department of Transportation and the Environmental Protection Agency.
Companies from around the world work with us, learning how to use robotics to solve problems, develop new products and open new fields of commercial endeavor. Companies, government agencies and universities also come to recruit the outstanding potential employees produced in our unique master's and doctor's programs in robotics."

For more about Carnegie Mellon's Robotics Institute, see

Carnegie Mellon University

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