The second annual Duke Robotics Student Symposium was held in conjunction with National Robotics Week on 14 April 2017. Amazon Robotics was the Keynote Speaker and sponsor. Professors, professionals, and students showcased their work on robotics related topics. Several high school robotics teams came to the event. Demonstration of drones, Unnamed Arial Vehicle Simulation, Unmanned Underwater Robot Simulation, and Baxter robots attracted much attention. It was a great opportunity to exchange knowledge and network with regional peers. There was free tickets to the Durham Bulls minor league baseball game that night.
On April 8, 2017, Humans and Autonomy Lab (HAL) was invited to participate in the Duke Alumni Weekend Science Festival. We drove our van to the backyard of the French science building, and set up our station of Duke Robotics and Drones. Haibei and Yuansong prepared the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) simulation game and the Underwater Robot simulation game in the van for people to play. I had the balloon powered helicopters for kids and families to play and learn the idea of drone. The reusable whistle equipped helicopter was a huge hit. All 80 helicopters were gone in less than one hour. Kids loved it. Parents and even grandparents loved it too because they all played it together and some younger kids needed help from adults to blow the balloons. It was also great fun to watch kids enjoy their time playing. Inside the building, other department groups also had interesting science stations for children to play and explore.
Lixiao Huang, a human factors scientist who is enthusiastic about human-robot interaction research.