Professor Dinesh Manocha highlighted in AAAS Interview
In late February Professor Dinesh Manocha was interviewed by AAAS on the future of robotics. He was an exhibitor the Annual Meeting for the organization in which he demonstrated three very exciting Maryland inspired robots called Robo Terp, Robo Crab, and Robo-Raven.
Manocha was made a fellow of the organization in 2011. One of the most important questions asked in the interview was about the future of robotics at the University for our students:
What draws your students to this technology today?
I get all kinds of students, especially at Maryland. I’m teaching a class on robotics. I’m primarily in the departments of computer science and electrical engineering, but I also get students from mechanical engineering. I also get a lot of students from aeronautical engineering. And Maryland also runs a professional master’s program in robotics where people come from all over the world with very varied undergraduate backgrounds.
So, robotics by nature is a very interdisciplinary field. And I’ve been in Maryland less than a year, but every few days I get two or three e-mails from local high school kids in the Baltimore-Washington DC area, and over the summer, they want to come to my lab and do some research program in robotics.
The younger generation, they are very technologically savvy. They all have a smart phone, an iPhone or an Android phone. They play with an Xbox or other games. But most people don’t have robots at home. They really want an opportunity. What really excites me are the number of high school kids who want to work in the robotics lab, and I wish I had a capacity to accommodate all of them…
The Department welcomes comments, suggestions and corrections. Send email to editor [-at-] cs [dot] umd [dot] edu.