Organizers of the first Maryland Robotics day, Sept. 10, learned something very important along the way: Robots are popular. Very popular!
Maryland Robotics Day was the kickoff event for the Maryland Robotics Center, formed earlier this year by the A. James Clark School of Engineering, and housed within the Institute for Systems Research. Professor S.K. Gupta is the center's director. The Center consists of 25 faculty members spanning Aerospace Engineering, Bioengineering, Biology, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Computer Science, Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering.
Well over 400 people attended the event on campus, including some 100 high school students, their science teachers, and their parents; as well as representatives from neighboring national labs, start-up companies and defense industries. The keynote speaker, Dr. Martin Buehler, Director of Research at iRobot, delivered an informative and stimulating talk which also included a number of exciting videos.
A total of 16 research laboratories showcased their robotic projects for almost 4 hours continuously. Many labs stayed open for visitors well past the stated ending time of 2 p.m. Graduate students and their faculty advisors did a superb job explaining and demonstrating their robotics work to the legions of visitors. Undergraduate students from the Science, Technology and Society honors program acted as guides throughout the event.
ISR Director Reza Ghodssi called the event, "an excellent demonstration of our strength and expertise in robotics at Maryland. We are now officially located on the world robotics map."
The open house drew reporters from television, radio and print media.
View Channel 9's coverage here.
Read Flight International's Sept. 21 story on Ph.D. student Evan Ulrich's patented "RoboSeed" single-wing aircraft modeled on a samara, or maple seed. Flight Global also released the story here.
Read the story "UMD Robotics Day Attracts Large Turnout" on the Prince George's Sentinel website.
University of Maryland's Between the Columns publication.
University of Maryland Newsline
A family of robotics hobbyists blog about their attendance. This article was subsequently picked up by the large robotics blog Make:.
Streaming video of University of Maryland speakers
Wideo shot by The Diamondback, University of Maryland student newspaper
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September 11, 2010