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Press Release

Eric C. Sloss

For immediate release:
December 11, 2002

Carnegie Mellon Art and Technology Students Exhibit Telepresence Projects on Dec. 12

PITTSBURGH—Telepresence technologies that shape the way we interpret reality, our cultures, our planet and our place in the universe will be on display when Carnegie Mellon University students exhibit the results of their "Telepresence: Art and Applications" course this Thursday, Dec. 12, 2002.

The open house begins at 4 p.m. in the Robotics Education Lab, Newell Simon Hall, Room 3206, on the Carnegie Mellon campus. Students and faculty from Carnegie Mellon's STUDIO for Creative Inquiry, School of Art and the School of Computer Science will take visitors on experimental tours of art and technology.

Through computer interfaces and remote robots, telepresence allows someone to experience a place or situation without being there. The projects on display function either as an artistic concept or innovative application that could serve a functional purpose in society. For example, applications of telepresence have enabled people to experience other planets and to interact with other people in intuitive ways.

The lead instructor, Peter Coppin, director of the EventScope Project and a research fellow in the STUDIO for Creative Inquiry and Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon, said, "We are introducing entrepreneurship as a creative realm for art-technology exploration. This provides new applications for art and technology and ways to solve problems facing society. Visual interfaces shape the way we interpret reality, our cultures, our planet and our place in the universe."

The goal of the class is to give students the experience of creating functioning technologies that have the potential to work outside of the classroom and within society. Students from the School of Art, Entertainment Technology Center, Human-Computer Interaction Institute and Robotics Institute are enrolled in the class. Past student projects have spanned art and technology applications. Projects have enabled people to report news onto a Web site through mobile phones and to detect someone's heartbeat through the Internet.

David Wettergreen, robotics instructor from the Robotics Institute, said, "Robotics fundamentally involves sensing, interpreting and acting in the real world. In this course students have developed art/applications that sense the world with cameras, microphones and a variety of biosensors. That sensing informs the manipulation of the environment through light, sound, imagery and motion to create unique forms of telepresence."

The Lemmelson Foundation, Carnegie Mellon's Robotics Institute, School of Art, Graduate School of Industrial Administration and the Entertainment Technology Center sponsored the course. For more information contact Peter Coppin at 412-268-1565.


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