Workshop Session 1 - Friday 10:15am
Exhibition 1- Friday 12pm-5pm
Workshop Session 2 - Saturday 4:15pm
Exhibition 2- Saturday 9am-3:45pm
Workshop Title: Humanoid Robot Up Close and Personal
After event notes:
From noon to 5pm on April 1, KEN was at the exhibition table right outside the hardware competition room. He caught attention from everyone who were passing by. Many people stop by to ask questions, take photos, and interact with KEN. On April 2, KEN had a second workshop and exhibition. 19 people came to the workshop. Numerous people came to the booth to interact with the robot and ask questions. Many of them expressed interest in joining the team in some way. KEN won a lot of fans at the SoutheastCon 2016 conference.
I have been to FIRST robotics tournaments multiple times, and the pits are normally closed by 9pm each day, so most teams can go home and rest. But at the SoutheastCon, the practice room was open all night. I heard from multiple teams that they were expected to stay up all night to work on the robots. Some team drove over 10 hours to come to the conference and had very little sleep for the whole week. The workload is surprising to me and I respect their hard work. I only hope the life of an engineer is not always sleepless and they would take good care of themselves.
46 teams participated in the hardware competition. Knowing the teams would be very busy competing on the April 2, I visited all the teams at the practice room to get their contact information for my research at the midnight on April 1. Some teams worked on their robots at their hotel rooms that I was not able to meet them. I was very happy to talk to some students who had some interesting thoughts on human-robot interaction research. I look forward to follow up with the students and do more HRI research that has value to researchers, engineers, educators, and consumers.