Tuesday, March 27, 2012

2012 Haptics Workshop: Come Explore the Touchy-Feely Side of Robotics

Here we are again at the 7th year of Tech Savvy- "Doing Well by Doing Good"-- the annual workshop for middle school and high school girls that took place in University at Buffalo. There were over 500 girls from many different local high schools with a "Haptics: Come Explore the Touchy-Feely Side of Robotics" Workshop from the ARMLAB once again!!!

In the hour-long workshop Dr. Krovi, Shefalika Prasad (local high school student), Ziyun Jo Zhou (REU student), Light Le and Justin Storms (undergraduates at UB) presented fundamental concepts and basics of robotics/ haptics outlining the application needs, engineering challenges and highlighting the bright future of robotics/haptics -- before the FUN and DEMONSTRATIONS began!!

One of the major highlights of this year was of course the guest speaker, Shefalika who is actually the first prize recipient at Tech Wars NCCC 2012 competition in the autonomous robot category for concept-design and fabrication of a automated robotic parking gate system. She talked about her winning project design and her parking gate system was on display which was well received by the girls who attended the workshop. Jo and Light presented their project on surgical haptic simulations that they are currently pursuing in ARMLAB and led way to interactive hands-on sessions.

The girls were very excited to try out the attractive demo applications -- needle biopsy simulator, ear surgery simulator as well as Cre8 (freeform CAD application). Working with cutting edge haptic and robotics applications, proved to be a great learning opportunity to these students. This workshop also served to provide valuable information to many others who were actually wanting to get their hands on pursuing robotics.

We thank AAUW for their continuing support. More details about the workshop and the presentations can be found at http://sites.google.com/site/techsavvyroboticsworkshop/.