Miami hosts first ROBO FEST

On Friday, October 15 in the Center for Performing Arts, Miami’s Theatre Department hosted ROBO FEST, a listening party for the premiere of R.U.R. Rossum's Universal Robots. There was hot chocolate, a Robot Costume Contest, performances by the Laptop Ensemble, and ACTUAL ROBOTS, visiting from the robotics department and ETBD.

Laura Mayer, a fifth year senior here at Miami who is double majoring in Mechanical Engineering and Manufacturing Engineering with a minor in supply chain and operations management was there to help facilitate the event.

Mayer got involved with ROBO FEST through an invitation from her professor, Dr. Giancarlo Corti. She had taken his class Manufacturing Automation - where they learned how programmed machines could help in manufacturing. In this class, Laura received certification on how to program the robot that they used at ROBO FEST.

Laura said she also loves interacting with people in and out of the CEC, so this was a great and fun opportunity for her to give back to the community and to network.

Robotic parts built on table above view

Mayer’s role in the event involved programming the robot, transporting the robot to and from ROBO FEST, and interacting with spectators at the event.

“I am going to work at Swagelok post graduation in an engineering rotational program. I plan to be an active Alumni by giving back to the department. I hope to someday program robots in manufacturing settings,” Laura said, speaking on her love for the department.

Dr. Giancarlo Corti, an Associate Professor in Mechanical Engineering, got involved with the event when Dr. Amit Shukla, one of the main organizers, contacted him asking if he wanted to participate. Julia Guichard from the Art department was another one of the organizers.

The event allowed spectators to not only see the robots in action, but to interact and control them. The family friendly program had all ages in attendance, giving ample opportunity to everyone interested to see the robots.

One of the robots was even programmed to hand out chocolate (just in time for Halloween)!

The MME department hopes to be able to work with the Art department and others in the future, as it is valuable to bring engineering to the whole community in an engaging way.

Written by Kayleigh Schauseil, CEC Reporter