From May 15 to May 16, PTC Waterloo ran their second and final conference of 2021 on the topic of robotics with roughly 80+ registrants. The central Discord hub of the conference hosted mini-games between events, and allowed for tech-enthused students to interact with one another, the team, and our ambassadors.
K E Y N O T E S P E A K E R 1
Robotics Rebooted launched with talk from Kerstin Dautenhan. Dautenhahn’s experience with robotics research was reflected in her presentation topic on social robots designed in a human-centred manner to interact with people efficiently. Her presentation delved into the main concepts, challenges, and research examples of social robots.
K E Y N O T E S P E A K E R 2
Katja Mombaur, a Canada Excellence Research Chair and the second keynote presenter, spoke to human-centred robots and their potential to support and facilitate people’s lives. The presentation discussed the link between robotics & AI, the kind of intelligence that robots require, and research on human-centred robotics.
career development Session
Kaustav Chaudhuri led the career development session discussing his journey to landing a manufacturing design internship at Tesla as a University of Waterloo mechatronics engineering student. Chaudhuri provided insight and advice to youth interested in exploring internships of choice from the perspective of a mechatronics student.
W O R K S H O P 1
The first day of Robotics Rebooted closed off with a workshop held by Alexander Werner of the University of Waterloo RoboHub. Werner performed livedemonstrations of robots in the University of Waterloo through controls right from his home-desk and explained the various research that the RoboHub is taking part in.
The second and final day of the conference kicked off with a technical workshop held by one of the Robotics Rebooted sponsors, Obotz, a multi-disciplinary robotics program facilitator. The workshop explored the core concepts of robotics, including motors and sensors, as well as directed attendees to explore robotics from home through a block-based coding website that assembles the code required to allow robots to work.
The Robotics Rebooted Panel Session included perspectives from Stephen Smith, an associate professor in electrical and computer engineering at the University of Waterloo and Arash Arami, who’s research connects human-robot interaction, wearable systems, and rehabilitation robotics. The session consisted of an interesting conversation regarding the progress of robotics in society today as well as an opportunity for both speakers to share their experiences in robotics research.
Closing off the robotics conference was a design challenge for youth who were interested in competitively showing off their robot designs for prizes! Attendees created robotics designs that address real-world problems and that were judged by guests from the Robotics Rebooted conference.
The PTC Waterloo ’21 team would like to thank every participant, ambassador, sponsor, and guest who was able to come to support us!