Launched in 2008 by EXPO21XX, a pioneer of the online business exhibition, the Universities Robotics platform is an innovative way for university robotics labs to display the next generation of robotics-related technologies to the research community, K-12 students and robotics enthusiasts globally.
The platform blends videos, pictures and descriptions that provide a quick, accurate and multi-dimensional overview of the projects for easy and efficient collaboration among colleagues. Each university lab displays its project in a virtual “booth,” which in turn is displayed in “e-halls.” The platform indexes more than 200 universities. Several universities including Massachusetts Institute of Technology, UC Berkeley, Stanford, University of Michigan, University of Oxford, University of Osaka etc., are displaying on the platform and many more have reserved a slot for their laboratories.
Among some of the fascinating projects displayed here are the social robots designed by scientists in the Cognitive Humanoids Laboratory of the Italian institute of technology and the IntRoLab at Université de Sherbrooke, Québec respectively. The lab in Italy is working on the iCub, a humanoid robot, as part of a European Union called RoboCup. Shaped like a child, it has outer and inner constructions termed as “bodyware” and “mindware,” made up of fifty-three mottos to operate its head, arms, hands, waist, legs and other imbued it with cognitive skills for navigation and recognition.
Tito is the name of the robot designed in the IntRoLab to interact with children with autism. Since many children with autism are delayed in their use of language and speech or have difficulties in communication with others, Tito is especially useful as it uses other methods of communication like gesture and directing one to the desired objects instead of speech and language.
Lately, it has advanced from a specialized entity for academics to accommodate media partners, conferences, trade fairs and High Schools (see Junior Robotics). This is where the platform has turned into a game-changing virtual exhibition gallery, which is not only engaging and fun, but also easy to comprehend. As educational advocate, EXPO21XX collaborates with the US National Robotics Week, iRobot, BEST Robotics Inc., US Congressional Robotics Caucus etc., to encourage high schools and young robotics enthusiasts to use the web to establish partnerships and compete with each other.
Visitors to the platform include business leaders, technology developers, professors, department heads, research academics, teachers, management professionals, end users, students seeking information on the latest development in the field.
Currently, EXPO21XX is working on ROBOTIC21XX, a platform that would unify the industry and university research labs.