David Calkins, Founder of ROBOlympics, presents "Does Your Robot Play Well With Others?".
Tony [a middle school student competitor in RoboGames!] created a firefighting robot which is an autonomous robot with the goal to be a big consumer product. His is a cross between a robot vacuum cleaner, a fire extinguisher, and a smoke detector. It's goal is to sit there and do absolutely nothing unless there's a house fire. And if there's a house fire, before the fire department has to put out your whole house which is now engulfed in flames - the firefighting robot detects the fire, runs over and puts the fire out while it's just a small fire. Some of the technological problems are we light fireplaces and light candles on tables. So it's not as easy of a challenge as you might think. Tony won the challenge that year [against adults] as well as the following three years.
David Calkins is a widely respected robot builder and expert. He teaches robotics and computer engineering at San Francisco State University, is the president of the Robotics Society of America, Founder of the international ROBOlympics competition, Program Chair of the RoboNexus Consumer and Entertainment Expo, and co-chair of the RoboSot competition for the Federation of International Robosoccer Association. He recently co-founded a company to build competition robots and home-based consumer robots.
Design, construction, and use of machines (robots) to perform tasks done traditionally by human beings. Robots are widely used in such industries as automobile manufacture to perform simple repetitive tasks, and in industries where work must be performed in environments hazardous to humans. Many aspects of robotics involve artificial intelligence; robots may be equipped with the equivalent of human senses such as vision, touch, and the ability to sense temperature. Some are even capable of simple decision making, and current robotics research is geared toward devising robots with a degree of self-sufficiency that will permit mobility and decision-making in an unstructured environment. Today's industrial robots do not resemble human beings; a robot in human form is called an android.