Carnegie Mellon University
April 04, 2011

Press Release: Carnegie Mellon Celebrates National Robotics Week With Robot Demonstrations, Lecture, Open House

National Event Highlights Societal Impact of Robotics

Contact:  Byron Spice / 412-268-9068 /

PITTSBURGH—Carnegie Mellon University will celebrate the second annual National Robotics Week with research project demonstrations at the Robotics Institute, the annual Mobot (mobile robot) races and the Teruko Yata Memorial Lecture, featuring William Swartout of the University of Southern California.
National Robotics Week,, is observed on the second week of April to recognize robotics technology as a pillar of 21st century American innovation.
"Now in its second year, National Robotics Week continues to be a tremendous success in educating the public on how robotics impacts society, both now and in the future," said Rep. Mike Doyle of Pennsylvania's 14th District, co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on Robotics. "Robotics provides an exciting, hands-on way for students to learn science, technology, engineering and math subjects, and the industry is poised to create many high-tech jobs in the U.S. in areas ranging from manufacturing to health care."
National Robotics Weeks events, which coincide with the university's Spring Carnival, will begin with Swartout's Yata Lecture, "What Have We Learned From Virtual Humans?" Swartout is director of technology for the USC Institute for Creative Technologies, where researchers have been building virtual humans for the past decade. The institute's vision is to create computer-generated characters that look and behave just like real people. That feat will require weaving together different threads of research such as computer vision, natural language understanding and emotion modeling.
Swartout will speak at 3:30 p.m., Thursday April 14 in Rashid Auditorium of the Gates and Hillman centers.
On Friday, April 15, the Robotics Institute will host a variety of robotics demonstrations from noon to 4 p.m. in the Planetary Robotics Lab highbay on the first floor of the Gates and Hillman centers. A limited number of openings are available each hour for demonstrations of balance experiments with a Sarcos humanoid robot. A reception in the highbay will follow from 4 to 6 p.m.
The demonstrations in the Planetary Robotics Lab highbay are open to the public. Pre-registration is requested by April 11 for the Yata lecture and reception on April 14, as well as the April 15 Sarcos demonstrations and robotics reception. More information and links to the pre-registration form are available in the Events and Activities section of the Robotics Institute website,
Also on Friday, April 15, the School of Computer Science will host the 17th annual Mobot races,, from noon to 2 p.m. Participants will race small autonomous vehicles through a slalom course on the paved walk outside Doherty and Wean halls.
Follow the School of Computer Science on Twitter @SCSatCMU.