The Museum of Science and Industry Prepares For National Robotics Week

CHICAGO (CBS) — Some of the most creative young minds in robotics will be showing off their creations at The Museum of Science and Industry as it prepares for National Robotics Week.

CBS 2’s Vince Gerasole got a sneak peek at the artificial intelligence on display.

Of course, a self-driving mini truck is passing by, this is the Museum of Science and Industry and it even has a name…

“It’s husky, like the dog,” said Andrea Daniele, University of Chicago.

Husky is a robot, born in the computer labs of the Toyota Technological Institute at Chicago to do more than run and catch a ball.

“Right now it’s collecting data with the environment and obstacles,” Daniele said.

That means Husky’s camera and sensors are mapping the environment around him, to navigate the busy corridors of the museum by himself.

“You can estimate the orientation and the speed of each person walking,” Daniele said.

CBS 2: So right now sensors are picking up the people around us?

Daniele: Yes.

Co-creator Andrea Daniele said Husky’s technology can be finessed to help those who can’t walk.

“We can think about something like that for a robotic wheelchair,” Daniele said.

Once it seemed robots only inhabited galaxies far, far away; but the tiny drones that navigate this obstacle course at the Museum of Science and Industry are robots too.

“Robotics is an emerging field,” said Kathleen McCarthy, Head Curator Museum of Science and Industry.

They are among the creations on display for the upcoming National Robotics Week.

“I see so many cool inventions — people who are taking this technology and pushing it in useful and creative ways,” McCarthy said.

Science fiction may entertain us with dreams of robotic futures, but these scientists dream to help us live better lives today.

“The interesting thing about robotics is people can work together ideas from different research areas,” Daniele said.

Husky might remind you of a Roomba vacuum, the difference here is he can avoid collisions with moving objects, which could lead to that robotic wheelchair Daniele was talking about.

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