Indiana University

Skip to:

  1. Search
  2. Breadcrumb Navigation
  3. Content
  4. Browse by Topic
  5. Services & Resources
  6. Additional Resources
  7. Multimedia News

Last modified: Monday, April 11, 2011

Public invited to visit IU's own robot house Wednesday as part of National Robotics Week

Clock that monitors human activity, car wreck avoidance technology among exhibits

April 11, 2011

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University's robotics experts will recognize the nation's second annual National Robotics Week this Wednesday (April 13) with a public open house at IU Bloomington's official robot research center, R-House, that will include a showcase of robot perception, action and interaction.

Robot Arm

Robot arms like the one above will be lending a hand during the IU Bloomington School of Informatics and Computing's annual R-House open house that celebrates National Robotics Week this Wednesday (April 13).

Print-Quality Photo

R-House opened last year at 919 E. 13th St. as a learning laboratory within the IU Bloomington School of Informatics and Computing designed to bring together social and technical researchers to collaborate on the study and design of robotic technologies for the home.

The public open house, from 4-7 p.m., will showcase a variety of examples of human-robot interaction, computer vision and pervasive computing through live demonstrations, simulations and student poster presentations. The national event is designed to celebrate the U.S. as a leader in robotics technology development, educate the public about how robotics technology impacts society, both now and in the future, advocate for increased funding for robotics technology research and development, and inspire students of all ages to pursue careers in robotics and other science, technology, engineering, and math-related fields, said Kris Hauser, an associate professor of computer science at IU Bloomington.

"We designed the event so that it is family-friendly and an opportunity to see what's going on in research and education on robotics and other emerging technologies at IU," Hauser said. "This is a "living lab" where students do hands-on research, so one component of the event will be the announcement of awards for the best student work."

Some of the class and research projects that guests will learn about at the open house include:

  • A clock - it's called The Presence Clock - presented by computer science graduate student Carl Brugger that uses motion sensors and lights to give people feedback about how active they have been throughout the day.
  • Simulation of necktie tying using a robot arm, presented by computer science graduate students Xiaoyang Chen and Shuohuan Chang as part of Computer Science Class B659's class project.
  • Robot arm control via Microsoft Kinect, presented by cognitive science graduate student Daryl Hansen, uses the Kinect 3D sensor to allow a person to control a simulated robot arm just by moving his or her arms. This is another class project from CS B659.
  • Optimal view planning for probabilistic 3D mapping, presented by computer science graduate student Jeff Johnson. A 3D map of an unknown object will be built from a laser scanner mounted on a robot arm where the robot uses optimization to select the next best views. Again, a class project from CS B659.
  • Point-and-click interfaces for aggressive control of a robot arm, presented by computer science graduate student Erkang You. A test of various ways in which novice users can control many-joint robot arms in complex environments.
  • Semi-autonomous vehicle collision avoidance, presented by computer science graduate student Yajia Zhang. A driving simulation in which your car uses distance measurements to decide when to apply brakes automatically without knowing how other cars on the road will behave.

Last year, Indiana University sponsored one of more than 50 National Robotics Week events in 21 states that attracted more than 46,000 people, including 22,000 K-12 students. A variety of online activities, downloadable learning projects and other information for student learning is located here at the National Robotics Week website. This year's national events are being held April 9-17.

Free public parking is available near R-House (corner of 13th Street and Forrest Avenue) along the north side of 13th Street.

For more information or to speak with researchers at R-House, please contact Steve Chaplin, University Communications, at 812-856-1896 or