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Interactive Robot Experts Aim to Showcase Research

As part of national robotics week, social and technical researchers at IU are collaborating to educate people about the field of informatics.

Forget all your preconceived notions about robots. The machines come in a variety of shapes and sizes and the list of things they can do seems almost endless. There was an open house Thursday on IU’s campus to showcase student’s work in the field of robotics. Visiting Research Associate Bobak Kechavarzi said robots and technology go hand in hand.

“For us we’re not just interested in drawing or building mock-ups,” said Kechavarzi. “It’s part of human and robotic interaction, we like to have some sort of functioning mechanism that people can interact with.”

In fact, one of the robots on display prompted people who have desk jobs to get up and take breaks. It has a timer you can set that counts down. When the clock runs out, you’re forced to get out of your chair and get a special card needed to restart the robot, otherwise the robot named Dewey, shakes his head drastically as if he’s having a fit.

“A major part of what we do is a hack together robot. We’re trying to incorporate Connect now in some of our future projects and that sort of eases a lot of very tricky problems in machine recognition and machine vision,” said Kechavarzi.

Kechavarzi says robotic technology is a growing field of interest at IU.

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