The symposium started in 2013 and has increased the number of registration from 300 to 600 this year. People from 12 states come to attend the event, and it is a free symposium. I like the event a lot for several reasons.
First, the symposium was very well organized like other national academic conferences. The overall time management, the diversity and quality of talks, logistics, and the flow of registration, etc.
Second, the symposium showcased the amazing robotics research at ASU. I was surprised to learn that ASU has more than 35 robotics faculty members, plus our center with a focus on human-robot interaction. In these two days, a total of ten ASU faculty members showcased their research and arranged lab tours at the Tempe campus and the Polytechnic campus respectively. Tehy even launched a new large drone studio, at the size of two basketball court. These ASU robotics faculty members actively seek collaboration, which is great for our multidisciplinary writing grants endeavors.
Third, the symposium included an exhibition of the robotics devices ASU faculty members have. So you can talk to the students to learn what their research is about and how you can potentially collaborate with their professors.
Fourth, I was presenting a CHART poster there. My supervisor Nancy Cooke and Nancy's postdoc Mustafa Demir came to help interact with people. It was interesting that many people do not know the existence of CHART and how humans are involved in robotics, and they were very interested in our research after I explain the tight connection between our Human Factors research and the development research by computer science and engineering people. It felt great when I seemingly inspired several people and triggered potential collaboration opportunities.
Fourth, the keynote speakers were very good. One was Oussama Khatib from Stanford University, and the other was Ruzena Bajcsy from University of California, Berkeley.
The Southwest Robotics Symposium has become an annual event and the registration is free. I strongly recommend people come to check out the cutting-the-edge research on AI and robotics at ASU and other prestigious universities. I look forward to educating more people about the important work at CHART at the next year's Southwest Robotics Symposium.