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Northwestern to Host International Robotics Experts

The symposium honors Museum of Science and Industry exhibition

Robot Revolution Symposium
10 a.m. - noon, Wednesday, May 20
Ford ITW classroom

The future of robotics is upon us.

Many robotics experts believe that, in the future, robots will be our companions and colleagues, changing the way we think, live, play, and work. With all of the recent advances made in robotics at Northwestern University and elsewhere, this future is not as distant as it once seemed.

Daniel LeeOn Thursday, May 21, the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago will unveil “Robot Revolution,” a new national touring exhibit that will explore the many ways robots will become a vital asset in our lives. Northwestern faculty members served as advisers for the project. To honor the exhibit’s premiere in Chicago, Northwestern will host two international robotics experts for a special symposium.

Sponsored by the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Master of Science in Robotics, and Northwestern Initiative on Manufacturing Science and Innovation, the event will open with a technical talk on machine learning for robotics, followed by a broad audience talk about the future of robotics in manufacturing. Both talks will take place on Wednesday, May 20 in the Ford Motor Company Engineering Design Center’s ITW classroom.

Henrik ChristensenAt 10 a.m. Daniel Lee will present “Machine Learning for Robots: Perception, Planning, and Motor Control.” Lee is the Evan C. Thompson Chair and director of the GRASP Robotics Lab at the University of Pennsylvania. He will share examples of learning algorithms and how they can be applied to autonomous vehicles and humanoid robots.

At 11 a.m. Henrik Christensen will present “Digital Manufacturing in a Non-flat World.” Christensen is the KUKA Chair of Robotics and director of the Institute for Robotics and Intelligent Machines at Georgia Tech. He will discuss the future of manufacturing, and the integration of fabrication across all aspects of a product’s life cycle.

Featuring hands-on activities and videos, Robot Revolution is supported by and will run at the Museum of Science and Industry through January 3, 2016.