At last year's National Robotics Week, Georgia Tech's robot trading cards made such a splash that they're bringing the all-stars back for "Game 2" of the series. Except this year, it's double the "robo-trouble."
For the 2014 National Robotics Week, Georgia Tech's Institute for Robotics & Intelligent Machines (IRIM) has partnered with IEEE Spectrum and iRobot to deubt twice the robotic talent, with two brand new decks of trading cards.
IRIM has designed a fresh pack of Georgia Tech Team Cards, highlighting a new lineup of innovative automatons. In addition to the 2014 Georgia Tech cards, IRIM teamed up with National Robotics Week coordinators iRobot and IEEE Spectrum to create a "National Team" featuring famous robots from around the country--including IRIM's own Simon, created by Associate Professor Andrea Thomaz of the School of Interactive Computing. To see both sets, plus the original 2013 lineup of Georgia Tech robots, visit the IRIM Robot Trading Cards webpage.
Professor Henrik Christensen, KUKA Chair of Robotics at the Georgia Tech College of Computing, touts the robot trading cards as an earmark for the extraordinary future of robotics.
"We're thrilled not only to put out our second 'lineup' of robotic All-Stars but also to work with iRobot and IEEE to promote a 'National Team' of automated heavy hitters from around the country," says Christensen. "This is a terrific way to help future roboticists learn about and appreciate all the fascinating work going on in U.S. robotics. Perhaps, 50 years from now, scientists will point back to their vintage Curi rookie cards as the spark for a lifetime of creative discovery in this critical, wide-ranging field."
The original cards were created as an avenue through which the public could connect with this dynamic and exploding field of science and engineering.
"One thing I learned covering the field of robotics is that people really love robots," says Erico Guizzo, the robotics editor at IEEE Spectrum and one of the creators of the IEEE Robots for iPad app. "People love robot videos, robot articles, robot slideshows, and now they'll love the robot cards."
Though National Robotics Week is meant as a showcase for new robotic talent, Lisa Freed, STEM Manager for iRobot, emphasizes that education is also a primary goal of this celebration.
“We at iRobot are thrilled to have worked with Georgia Tech and IEEE on this set of exciting robot trading cards," Freed says. "Our hope is that these will help to further engage young students by showcasing the diverse world of robots in a new way.”
IRIM will distribute free packs of the 2014 cards to visitors touring Georgia Tech's robotics labs on April 8, as the campus plays host to hundreds of middle- and high school students visiting as part of National Robotics Week activities. Tonight, a limited number of cards will be handed out at Russ Chandler Stadium when the Yellow Jackets men's baseball team takes on Georgia Southern at 6 p.m.
For more information, visit the National Robotics Week at IRIM webpage. As a special surprise for the collectors of this year's cards, IRIM has designed a digital team card featuring the whole Georgia Tech lineup, which can be downloaded by liking IRIM's Facebook page.