RobotWorx at COSI: Robot Science Day 2011


A spider robot with eyes? Cool! The interactive FANUC M-1iA demo RobotWorx brought to the COSI Columbus Robot Science Day proved an immense success. Kids and adults alike enjoyed watching the M-1iA assembly robot's adroit movements.

The event's coordinator, Faculty Leader for Special Programs Joan Harless noticed the impact the robot had on visitors. "I heard many people discussing how impressive the speed and accuracy of the spider robot was. There always seemed to be a group of people looking at it."

The FANUC Delta-style robot was programmed to pick and place marbles using its vision sensor to locate the tiny marbles even when they were moved with a stick. RobotWorx removed the cover from the top of the M-1iA so visitors could see the inner-workings. 

RobotWorx president Keith Wanner and robot technician Chris Pappas were on hand to answer questions about parallel-link robots, vision, and programming. Wanner said he chose the Fanuc M-1iA because he knew it would capture the imaginations of the kids. The spider robot's unique build also gave him an opportunity to talk about how robots are designed differently to better perform tasks from assembly to welding.

A Robotics Community Effort:

RobotWorx was honored to be among the presenters at the 2011 Robot Science Day. The annual event brings together COSI corporate partners and school teams to celebrate robotics and education.   

"Robots excite the imaginations of guests of all ages. They are a fun and engaging way of showing our young guests the importance of taking those challenging math and science courses," Harless said.  "Most adults have an interest in, but little information about, robots, so having our corporate partners here to discuss the many ways robots are used is a way of keeping our adult guests informed about how science impacts their lives."

RobotWorx was joined by COSI corporate partners Honda, Time Warner Cable, and K-12 Ohio Virtual Academy. Nine robotics teams participated in Robot Science Day as well.

"It was great to have the robotics teams here with their impressive projects, and then be able to see how industry uses robots," Harless said. "This year our guests seemed more engaged and spent more time exploring robotics with our partners. Having the teams located around the building gave our guests plenty of room to interact with the various teams."

Looking into the Future:

COSI plans to continue offering Robot Science Day. The event offers an opportunity for visitors to learn about robotics teams and talk with COSI corporate partners about careers in robotics. Other robot-related programs held the same day proved extremely popular. "We offered two hands-on family robotics workshops on Saturday, and each one sold out (50 adults and children in each one) a few days before the event," Harless said.

For more information about the FANUC M-1iA robot contact RobotWorx online or at 740-251-4312.

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