Adrian Boteanu / Sun Staff Photographer

Hosted at Cornell Saturday and Sunday, the fifth Northeast Robotics Colloquium brought together keynote speakers, poster presentations and industry sponsors.

November 2, 2016

Cornell Hosts Northeast Robotics Colloquium, Promoting Collaborative Innovation

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The two-day Northeast Robotics Colloquium was “a big success” in bringing together students, academics and industry experts to discuss the latest developments in robotics, according to co-organizer Prof. Ross Knepper, computer science.

The colloquium — now in its fifth year — was held at Cornell on Saturday and Sunday. It simultaneously served as a research meeting, networking event and showcase, according to the event’s website.

Cornell is an appropriate place to host the event because of the strength of its robotics program, Knepper said.

“We are increasingly being recognized as a place to go for robotics,” he said. “It is very fitting that we should be hosting the colloquium this year.”

Knepper added that the colloquium was essential for promoting a well-connected robotics community.

Thomas Mack and Abe Cantwell, who represented Amazon at the colloquium, said they attended the event to keep track of “the future of technology and the developments taking place in robotics,” as well as to recruit potential student interns.

“We are excited to see what’s happening in academia and what students are working on,” they said. “It has been a great experience.”

Ilan Mendel ’18 — who presented his team’s research on the use of robots to accelerate language learning for first-time learners — said he appreciated the diversity of student projects he saw on Saturday.

“There are lot of really cool people here with awesome projects doing crazy futuristic things,” Mendel said. “It has been a great conversation.”

Sammy Haq — a student attendee from the University of Rochester — agreed, saying he enjoyed seeing how the projects showed different approaches to putting robotics to practical use.

“It was really cool to see how everyone sees the potential in robotics differently and apply it to completely different things,” he said. “For example, one student showed their research with regards to building infrastructure autonomously, while another showed potential applications in the classroom for little kids.”

Haq added that what he enjoyed most about the colloquium was the informal nature of his interactions with other attendees.

“Whenever people talked about their research, they smiled and looked like they genuinely enjoyed what they were discovering,” he said. “And yet, everyone was relaxed and comfortable to be around. It almost didn’t feel like a ‘formal’ conference at all.”