Maker Faire Detroit, Robofest, & Vectorformers

Posted by Administrator – July 31, 2012

Over the weekend, Vectorformer Emily Trudell participated in Maker Faire Detroit hosted at the Henry Ford Museum as a representive of Robofest and her ala mater Lawrence Technological University.

Vectorform is proud of Emily’s participation at Maker Faire and her involvement to promote science, engineering, technology, and math with students. Events like these embody one of our core values: pushing boundaries through play.

Emily for Robofest at Maker Faire

At this unique event “more than 400 makers bring their wares, ideas, inventions and solutions to this two-day festival offering everything from robots, flame shooters and animatronics to solar-powered mechanical sculptures and fashionable finds.”

Robofest is an annual autonomous robotics competition designed to promote and support STEM (Science, Engineering, Technology and Math) and Computer Science for students in grades 5 – 12 and college students. Robofest challenges teams of students to design, build, and program robots.

Robots Kicking Goals in Education

Emily demo’d the DARwIn-OP. As the site describes DARwIn-OP “(Dynamic Anthropomorphic Robot with Intelligence–Open Platform) is an affordable, miniature-humanoid-robot platform with advanced computational power, sophisticated sensors, high payload capacity, and dynamic motion ability to enable many exciting research and education activities.” (Source: Robotis)

DARwIn-OP was primarily created to play soccer at RoboCup in the humanoid league. The humanoid includes dynamic walking, running, and kicking the ball while maintaining balance, visual perception of the ball, other players, and the field. Self-localization and team play are among the many research issues investigated in the league. The league is divided in 3 subleagues, according to robot sizes: Teen Size, Kid Size and Adult Size.

RoboCup is an international scientific initiative that aims to advance the state of the art in intelligent robotics. When established in 1997 the original mission was to field a team of robots capable of winning against the human soccer World Cup champions by 2050. While that mission remains, RoboCup has since expanded into other relevant application domains based on the needs of modern society. RoboCup 2012 was held June 18th – 24th in Mexico City. Team DARwIn (University of Pennsylvania & VirginiaTech) took first place in the Kid Size competition. Check out the final game (USA vs Japan).

Community of Engineers & Innovators

Of Robofest, Emily says,

I have worked and volunteered for Robofest for the past 8 years. I wouldn’t have any of these awesome robots to play with if it wasn’t for Robofest and the founder/director professor CJ Chung.

It’s exciting to see the engineers of tomorrow taking risks in innovation. The spirits of Maker Faire and Robofest events push engineers to problem solve, try new things, and have a ton of fun in the process. This is the same approach we use to tackle big challenges in emerging technologies.

[And, of course, around the office, we also had our own Vectorform antics using DARwIn's color sensing and soccer skills. Check out the video: Onlookers Do Nothing While Robot Kills Plumber]

What boundaries have you pushed lately? Are we having fun yet?

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