Robots rule the week at Tennessee Tech

TTU robotics_clubThe Autonomous Robotics Club at Tennessee Tech University will celebrate National Robotics Week beginning Monday with multiple chances to see their newest robotic creations in action.

ARC is designing a competition robot that they will reveal and demonstrate during the week’s festivities.

The base of the robot came from an electric wheelchair, so the club named it Hawking in honor of renowned physicist Steven Hawking. The former Lucasian professor of mathematics at the University of Cambridge and author of “A Brief History of Time,” Hawking has a motor neurone disease and is confined to a wheelchair.

ARC members will demonstrate robot Hawking’s capabilities on the South Patio of the Roaden University Center Tuesday at 11 a.m., taking the opportunity to prove that robotics can be interesting to students of all disciplines.

“The great thing about ARC is that it's not major specific,” said Savannah Nolen, an electrical engineering major from Murfreesboro. “We have computer science, computer engineering, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering and business majors. We have the club set up so that everyone, regardless of how much they know about robotics, can come and learn and do something creative and inspiring with a robot.”

While robot Hawking is the showpiece of robotics week, ARC members have other events planned, all of which are open to the community. ARC will sell their club t-shirts at each event in order to fund the week’s activities.

Monday, the club will show the movie iRobot in Brown Hall room 208. Erden Erdemir from the Center for Intelligent Systems at Vanderbilt University will talk about intelligent medical robots Tuesday at 6 p.m. in room 208 of Brown Hall.

More robots will be in action Thursday from 6-9 p.m. in rooms 236 and 237 of Brown Hall for the Great Robot Race Competition.

On Friday, ARC students will show off Hawking again during the FAB Friday family event at TTU’s Millard Oakley STEM Center. Reservations for FAB Friday are required and may be made at www.tntech.edu/stem/fab-fridays.

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