Monday, June 4, 2012

Brooklyn Welcomes Robot Overlords To Metrotech

City Alien.  Photo by MK Metz
One of the most exciting events this weekend was the World Science Festival, which came to Brooklyn on Saturday at two locations: MetroTech / NYU-Poly in Downtown Brooklyn, and Brooklyn Bridge Park. (This post describes the event at NYU-Poly; see the Brooklyn Bridge Park science happenings here.)

MetroTech Commons was dubbed "Innovation Square" for the event. Robots (actual functioning robots, not the kind that just wave their arms around and spout canned speeches) were rolling all over the place. (NYU-Poly called it the "Robot Petting Zoo).

City Alien, above, is a "autonomous urban navigator" designed by a team from City College of NY.

Modular Snake Robot.  Photo by MK Metz
This is a modular snake robot designed to slither through rubble when larger robots can't, such as in search and rescue missions. They can also wiggle through pipes or wrap themselves up poles. It was designed by folks at the Biorobotics Lab at Carnegie Mellon University.

We weren't sure what this one did -- it just kind of zoomed by.

Lots of wires.

Inside NYU-Poly's Game Innovation Lab, this group was playing Ninja Shadow Warrior. Other attractions included virtual sword fights using cell phones, dance-offs, and all kinds of high-tech games.

Quantum levitation using super-cooled superconductors-- the white disk is actually floating over the boy's finger and is flying around the "track," though not touching it. The man on the right is physicist Boaz Almog, who studies superconductors at Tel-Aviv University in Israel. See how it works here.

More about the event here.

Photos copyright MK Metz

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