Brown CS Blog

Middle Schoolers get tour of Robotics Lab for Brown 250+ Celebrations


Community outreach connects Brown CS students to the Providence area. For more articles on how Brown CS students inspire and lead members of the greater Providence community click here.

The robotics open house was hosted by the Brown Robotics Lab on first floor of the CIT Building.  Visitors were greeted in the lobby by Morgan Jenkins using a telepresence robot.  Through the telepresence robot, Morgan answered questions about the robotics lab and accompanied visitors to one of two rooms: 

1) CIT 121 where Dr. John Raiti demonstrated flight of quad rotor helicopters through web technologies developed at Brown.  This project is enabling quadriplegics around the world to fly helicopters around campus. Recent talks by Prof. Chad Jenkins for TED and National Geographic has more information about this project.
2) CIT 134 where Prof. Jenkins demonstrated the PR2 robot recognizing and grasping household objects in an experimental domestic environment.  This work is aimed to assist senior citizens and the physically disabled in their activities of daily living (e.g., cleaning, food preparation and consumption).  We eventually want to enable more people to live independently at home without requiring institutionalization in assisted living facilities.
The Providence Journal has some good pictures of these demonstrations:
Our continued goal is to advance robotic technology to meet the needs of society towards improving productivity and quality of life across the socioeconomic spectrum.  This goal requires perspectives and interdisciplinary collaborations from across the academy, as well as engagement with the community and larger society.
Participating in the 250th provided an excellent opportunity to raise awareness about the promise of robotics, engage broader perspectives, and help Brown celebrate an incredible moment in its history.