Humans and machines alike gathered Sunday afternoon on the HUB Week festival grounds in Government Center for a Robot Block Party. The Robot Block Party, held in a large dome on the HUB grounds, hosted over two dozen robotic organizations of the greater Boston area with over 100 people in attendance. The robotic groups spanned from high school teams, to university research initiatives, to full-scale companies.
A member of Cummings's team fiddled with the robot's censor before a demonstration
The Nutron's Robot manipulated the spinning of the green balls in the holding chamber to shoot out of the front of the machine and land in the net. The robot self-detected with the green censor where the net was located.
Barton continued, stating that machines should not take over human tasks, rather find innovative tasks humans cannot do.
Barton showed the Bots in action, combining composed code with improvised rhythm.
The company Jibo was also in attendance. Jibo, a household companion and service robot was named after it's Japanese translation, "nurturing parent," though Software Architect Jonathan Ross admitted that the Urban Dictionary definition of Jibo was "really frickking cool". Jibo reacts to movement, has facial recognition skills, and can tell stories, Ross said.
Ross demonstrates Jibo's photo-taking response.
“What is anybody’s purpose? He’s supposed to make your life easier, hover the household.” Ross said, when asked Jibo's purpose. And according to Ross, he's also pretty cute.
From making competitive robots for fun, to creating a machine musician, to inventing man's new best friend, the Robot Block Party displayed Boston's best in automaton innovation. Though the bot's all have different functions, their creators' goal remained the same: to further humanity through technological advancement.