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Drexel University Hosts Philadelphia Robotics Expo During Philly Tech Week

Drexel University hosted a Philadelphia Robotics Expo for the first time in the region. Youngmoo Kim, the assistant dean at the University, mentioned that Philadelphia takes a lot of interest in robotics.

One of the robots used at the Drexel MET-lab is a Robonova that has been programmed to dance and adapt to tempo when the song is changed.

Kim heads the Music and Entertainment Technology lab (MET-Lab) at Drexel. The MET-lab has developed a robot that can dance to the changing tunes in songs. Another robot developed in the lab is HUBO, an advanced adult sized humanoid robot. Currently, Drexel University is the only institution that owns the HUBO robot. Kim mentioned that they had plans of acquiring more HUBO robots in the future and use them for research purposes.

Apart from hosting the Expo, Drexel is engaged in the GK12 program. Students from the University are sent to work in classrooms around the district for 10 hours a week with teachers from elementary high school level. This program intends to connect the learning in the classroom with interesting applications in the fields of engineering, robotics etc. The school students are exposed to the math and physics concepts required in robotics. As part of the initiative, the district sends three different high schools to participate in different robotics competitions such as Boosting Engineering Science and Technology competition, For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology competition and Marine Advanced Technology Education competition. With help from grants such as the GEAR UP grant, the district is able to increase the number of resources into such initiatives. Kendrick Davis, the District Robotics Coordinator, feels that there is a lack of awareness among people about STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and hence the number of sponsors is less. Davis stressed the importance of STEM and stated that the district would be focussed on running a number of STEM initiatives.

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