Robots at Play

Robots at Play

August
Robots at Play is an international festival of robotics, intended to promote the understanding, use, and enjoyment of robots in everyday life. The festival, held in Denmark, includes exhibits of robots at work; areas where visitors can play games with robot opponents, dance with robots, and otherwise interact with them; art featuring robots; robot films; and a professional conference on robotics. There is a robot-building competition for children, an area featuring robots built from scrap material, and a designer's competition with a prize of 75,000 DK, sponsored by the Fionia Bank.
The designers' competition encourages entrants to combine robotic function, good design, and artistry. In 2006, the first year of the competition, the top prize was taken by Huggable, a robotic teddy bear designed by Dan Stiehl and Cynthia Breazeal, a team from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Huggable was designed to mimic the attributes of a companion animal such as a cat or dog in order to provide the therapeutic benefits that real animals have been shown to provide to the elderly and infirm. In 2007, the prize was won by the team of Hideki Kozima, from Japan, and Marek Michalowski, from the United States, for their robot Keepon. A small unit with a soft, rubbery skin, Keepon featured cameras in its eyes and a microphone in its nose. It was designed to interact with young children and aid in the study of their nonverbal play.
CONTACTS:
Robots at Play
Louise Skovborg Just, Project Manager
Robocluster
Forskerparken 10
DK-5230, Odense M Denmark
www.robocluster.dk
Henrik Hautop Lund
Chairman, Robots at Play
Maersk Mc-Kinney Moller Institute
University of Southern Denmark, Campusvej 55
DK-5230, Odense M, Denmark
www.robotsatplay.dk
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