Sunday, November 6, 2011

The da Vinci of Robots is at Virginia Tech - Dr. Dennis Hong

This is a GREAT article in The Washington Post Magazine by Daniel de Vise on robotics AND it is where my two oldest sons are going to college at Virginia Tech.  Below is just a small snippet:

"Virginia Tech’s engineering school ranks 24th in the nation, according to the latest graduate rankings by U.S. News & World Report. Stanford, MIT, Carnegie Mellon and Penn all field bigger, older, better-funded robotics programs.
But none of them has Hong.
He arrived at Virginia Tech in 2003, still in his early 30s, with a baby face and a thick shock of black hair. There, working with a small team of bleary-eyed graduate students and a shoestring budget, Hong built several of the most compelling designs to emerge in American robotics.
Hong and his students “are really trying to change the world,” said Daniel Lee, a robotics researcher at Penn who collaborates with Hong.
Hong’s dream, though, has always been to win RoboCup, a little-known international competition that is one of the premier academic events in robotics.
RoboCup is an annual soccer tournament for robots. Designing a robot that can find and kick a soccer ball is termed the ultimate challenge in robot design; not long ago, no humanoid robot on Earth could do it. The goal is to field a robot team by 2050 that can beat the human World Cup champions."

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