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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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June 16, 2024

Top researchers share cutting-edge work at robotics symposium

Eighteen top researchers in the field of robotics and automation gathered from all over the world to share their ground-breaking research covering this week on Texas A&M’s campus, covering a wide range of topics.
Nancy Amato, computer science professor and 2015 Program Chair of International Conference on Robotics and Automation, strategically organized the program to take place at the same time committee members would be in town to choose submitted research papers for the May robotics convention.
Along with showing advancements in the field, this program served as the first time a major robotics convention boasted a female-only speaker lineup. Allison Okamura, a speaker from Stanford University who specializes in medical robotics and haptic technology, how to mimic the sense of touch, said this was the first time she has presented with a group of all women roboticists.
“I think what it is really doing is demonstrating the leadership, experience, and capabilities in the field for women, and while there have always been women involved in leadership in our robotics society and in our conferences and journals, women don’t get invited to participate as much as they should, given their contributions to the field,” Okamura said.
Chinwe Ekenna, a PhD student at the Parasol Lab, said having all women speakers was inspirational to her because she is studying robotics herself.
“Having women, because I am female, so having women to come give this kind of talk is very motivating and encouraging,” Ekenna said. “It’s a very good experience.”
Each speaker gave a quick, high-level talk on her current research. The topics ranged from cyber-physical systems in the human loop, to multi-robot cooperative tracking of dynamic ocean plumes, to teaching robots to help humans with clothing.
Okamura said there are two things she hopes those in attendance take away from the symposium.
“I think the primary thing I hope people take away from it is the research results and what are the new frontiers of robotics that people are working on and what are the accomplishments that are being made in those fields,” Okamura said. “The secondary thing, which is also important, is that women are doing incredible work in this field and that spans the whole of robotics.”

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