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The University of Texas at Dallas, P.O. Box 830688, Richardson, Texas 75083-0688

News Release

News contact: Beth Keithly, UTD, (972) 883-4568, [email protected]

Future of Human-like Robots
To Be Topic of Presentation at UTD

Photo - David Hanson and K-BotRICHARDSON , Texas ( Nov. 14, 2003 ) - K-Bot may be the most sophisticated robot head ever developed. Its builder, David Hanson, a graduate student at The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) who has garnered international acclaim for his work, has placed cameras behind the robot's eyes that can follow movements, and he has employed an advanced software system to control the motors under K-Bot's polymer skin that allows the robot to sneer, smile, frown and squint.

Hanson, whose research focuses on developing natural, human-like facial expressions in robots - a trait that will become increasingly important as humans and robots begin to have more face-to-face interaction in the coming years -- will discuss K-Bot's future and the future of social robotics in general on Thursday, Nov. 20, at 5:30 p.m., in Room 1.112 of the Conference Center on the UTD campus. Hanson's presentation, entitled "Breathe! How Science and Bio-Inspired Engineering and Art Will Bring Synthetic Humans to Life," is free and open to the public. A reception will follow.

"Hanson's work is just one example of the amazing results from research interaction between arts and engineering," said Dr. Da Hsuan Feng, vice president of research and graduate education at UTD. "This type of interdisciplinary research can impact a variety of different fields, from defense to entertainment. Collaboration with the arts and hard sciences is critical in a successful research institution, and the results can be simply revolutionary."

K-Bot was shown at the American Association for the Advancement of Science in February and received accolades for the variety and accuracy of its expressions. Before coming to UTD, Hanson worked for Walt Disney Imagineering, where he developed artificial muscles as part of the group building autonomous walking robots.

Science Magazine has dubbed Hanson "the head of his class" in sociable robotics development.

About UTD
The University of Texas at Dallas, located at the convergence of Richardson, Plano and Dallas in the heart of the complex of major multinational technology corporations known as the Telecom Corridor, enrolls about 13,700 students. The school's freshman class traditionally stands at the forefront of Texas state universities in terms of average SAT scores. The university offers a broad assortment of bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree programs. For additional information about UTD, please visit the university's web site at www.utdallas.edu.

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This page last updated
August 11, 2003