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Wednesday, March 21, 2018 from 5:30 PM to 7:00 PM MDT
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CU Boulder Discovery Learning Center, Room 170 
Engineering Dr
Boulder, CO 80302

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Alexandra Rose 
CU Science Discovery 

Perception is Everything: Designing Robots to Sense the World 

Dr. Shalom Ruben is a Mechanical Engineer with an office full of toys. At least, that’s what it looks like when you first walk in. Turns out that the drone on the table, the record player on the bookshelf, the LED fidget spinner, and the old fashioned zoetrope (you know—that black circle with slots in the side that spins around so you can look through and see an animated motion picture of a running horse or a seal balancing a ball on his nose?) aren’t just toys. They’re tools he uses to illustrate to his students how complicated it is to design a sensor for a robot that perceives sound and light signals from the world, in the way that you want it to.

Our next café is a journey into a kind of science we’ve never investigated before: Robotics. Dr. Ruben will introduce us to some of the problems he’s puzzling over in his lab, from how to design unmanned vehicles equipped with lasers to map pollution in the atmosphere to how to make teeny tiny adjustments to robots during the nano-manufacturing process. We’ll learn all about how machines perceive signals, what they do with that information, and how quickly they’re able to respond with a new direction.