Bowdoin's new robotics lab, located in the Searles Science Building is the home of both cutting-edge research conducted by Computer Science faculty Eric Chown, Stephen Majercik and students and an exciting new Robotics course in the Computer Science.
The lab's growing collection of state-of-the-art robots includes two advanced Pioneer robots: Odysseus, equipped with a laser rangefinder, provides an excellent platform for research on navigation, and Artemis, equipped with a camera and a gripper, enables research on planning under uncertainty. Odysseus and Artemis are kept company by eight Sony Aibo robot "dogs" equipped with cameras, and infrared and tactile sensors.
The Aibo robots will be the foundation of a Bowdoin robotic soccer team that will compete with teams from other colleges and universities in the annual "RoboCup" competition, conducted by the international artificial intelligence research community to encourage robotics research. The ultimate goal of this competition, now in it's ninth year, is to develop, by 2050, a team of fully autonomous humanoid robots that is capable of defeating the human world-champion soccer team.
The Computer Science's new Robotics course is keeping the robotics lab especially busy this semester. Students are gaining hands-on experience with both the Pioneers and the Aibos in preparation for advanced projects, including a mini-robocup competition. Alumni of this course will be well-prepared to do research in robotics or participate in the burgeoning robotics industry.