6/22/10

RoboCup

While the world watches to see who will take home the world cup, Carnegie Mellon robots are in the midst of their own championship – RoboCub 2010.

This year, two Carnegie Mellon teams joined more than 500 other teams – and about 3,000 participants – at the the RoboCub world championship in Singapore June 19-25. Using a new algorithm that helps predict a ball’s behavior based on physics, Carnegie Mellon’s robot soccer teams are hoping to out-dribble their opponents.

The CMDragons are small-sized robots focused on out maneuvering their opponents and finding creative solutions to game situations. These robots move on wheels and are less than six inches high.

Carnegie Mellon also has a standard platform team that consists of 22-inch-tall humanoid robots. These robots move on two legs and are able to kick the ball, mimicking human motions.
Carnegie Mellon is always competitive in this tournament. After winning in 2006 and 2007, and finishing second in 2008, the team experienced a computer glitch that cost them the quarterfinals win last year.

So what’s the point of soccer playing robots?

According to the RoboCup website, the ultimate goal of the competition is to develop a team of autonomous humanoid robots that can win against the human world champion team in soccer.

Read more at cmu.edu >>

6/17/10

Volunteer Forum

Seventy volunteers recently gathered on the Pittsburgh campus for a weekend of idea sharing and unique programming. And they definitely got the inside scoop.

Volunteers were treated to a “behind the scenes” tour of Purnell Center for the Arts, Kresge Recital Hall, Stever House, and Gates & Hillman Centers. Then President Cohon gave them the lowdown on the latest developments and happenings at Carnegie Mellon, including:
  • All new appointments and senior management hires
  • The latest and largest grants to the university
  • A recap of how we stack up in terms of the number of start-up companies generated per research dollar (AUTM ranked us 2 out of 154 universities in the 2008 fiscal year)
Another highlight was the special presentation of “Community Collage” by 10 current students, who danced, sang and shared their personal campus experiences, revealing a whole new aspect of diversity at Carnegie Mellon.

The weekend also included workshops, which provided volunteers with new tools, ideas and resources. Additionally, our faculty shared their latest research on the mechanical changes in cells with advanced aging, as well as how they simulate the universe on a supercomputer.

The activities didn’t end there. Volunteers also saw a special lighting of the Pausch Bridge and still had time to network with other volunteers, current students, the Alumni Association Board, faculty and staff.

A special thanks to everybody who was able to attend this year’s Volunteer Forum. For those who couldn’t make it, we hope to see you June 3-5, 2011 at next year’s forum.

6/4/10

President Obama Pays CMU a Visit


President Barack Obama made it back to Carnegie Mellon’s Pittsburgh campus this week.

This time he addressed the economy, health care, education and clean energy. Watch the video to hear what he had to say. A full transcript of his speech is also available.

It’s no coincidence Obama chose to deliver this speech Carnegie Mellon. President Jared Cohon weighed in on the significance of the location.

"Another aspect of the significance of his speech for us is the fact that it's here in Pittsburgh and at Carnegie Mellon," Cohon said.

"Why Pittsburgh? I think it's the same reason why he chose Pittsburgh to host the G-20. We are, as you heard him say, one of the leading models of an older industrial city, which has transformed its economy. Why Carnegie Mellon? I think it's because we're a major actor, and he knows that, in that transformation and in continuing that transformation."

Relive Obama’s 2008 visit. Watch his address and the panel discussion.