Carnegie Mellon Celebrates National Robotics WeekWith Daniel Wilson Lecture, Robot Races and Demonstrations

Daniel Wilson
BY Byron Spice - Tue, 2013-04-02 14:04  Printer-friendly version

National Event Emphasizes Growing Importance of Tech Education

PITTSBURGH—Carnegie Mellon University will celebrate National Robotics Week with a lecture by author and Robotics Institute alumnus Daniel H. Wilson, the annual Mobot mobile robot races and robot demonstrations by Robotics Institute researchers.

These public events will be April 18-19, coinciding with the university's annual Spring Carnival. National Robotics Week this year is geared toward inspiring the next generation of innovators to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

Wilson, who earned his Ph.D. in robotics at CMU in 2005, is the author of the best-selling "Robopocalypse," a techno-thriller about a robot uprising that is slated to be made into a movie directed by Stephen Spielberg, and "Amped," a thriller set in Pittsburgh's Allderdice High School involving students with neural implants that give them superior intelligence.

Wilson will draw on his experience in both real-world robotics and in science fiction as he presents the annual Teruko Yata Memorial Lecture. In his talk, "Sci-fi Destroys the Future, Science Builds It," he will explore how the exchange of ideas between Hollywood and academia may help prepare humankind for the disruptive changes that accompany new technology. The lecture is at noon on April 18 in the Rashid Auditorium in the Gates and Hillman centers.

The School of Computer Science will host the 19th annual Mobot Races from noon to 2 p.m. on April 19. Participants, including undergraduates and alumni, will race small autonomous vehicles through a slalom course on the paved walk outside Doherty and Wean halls. The award ceremony is at 3 p.m. in Rashid Auditorium.

Also on April 19, the Robotics Institute, the largest university-affiliated robotics research group in the world, will host exhibits and demonstrations from noon to 4 p.m. in the Planetary Robotics Laboratory on the first floor of the Gates and Hillman centers. Tours of two additional labs are available for a limited number of participants who pre-register.Pre-registration is requested for the Wilson lecture as well as the Robotics Institute tours. More information on CMU's National Robotics Week events is available at http://www.ri.cmu.edu/rinrw.

Congress established National Robotics Week in 2010 to raise awareness about robots and their important role in shaping the future of education, industry and the U.S. economy. Rep. Mike Doyle of Pennsylvania's 14th District and co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on Robotics, introduced the enabling resolution. More than 125 events are scheduled across all 50 states.

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Byron Spice | 412-268-9068 | bspice [atsymbol] cs.cmu.edu