Innovation Square

RoboCup World Champions Come to Innovation Square

Deciphering FlightFesto's autonomous bionic bird soared above the World Science Festival's tech fest, Innovation Square, on June 2, 2012.

Another amazing Festo creation is the AquaJelly, an autonomous robotic jellyfish with eight mechanical tentacles to propel itself underwater just like the real deal.

Serpentine RobotsA robotic snake that can slither up poles (and people) slithered through the crowds at Innovation Square

Man and MachineCome see why Dennis Hong's humanoid was named Time magazine's 2011 Best Invention of the Year.

Bird BrainSmartBird, a massive, autonomous flying contraption straight out of a sci-fi fever dream, buzzed the square every hour.

Mechanical engineer Maurizio Porfiri's robotic fish are convincing enough to swim with real schools of fish.

  • Don’t feed the robots. From flying mechanical birds to robotic fish and autonomous snake machines, the myriad species of world-class robots infesting Innovation Square will bend your mind.

  • Dennis Hong: Humanoid Soccer Gods

    If the singularity is nigh, who knew it would be this adorable? Meet renowned roboticist Dennis Hong. Interact with the standard-bearing humanoid robot, CHARLI-2, named “2011 Invention of the Year” by Time Magazine, and play soccer with the current RoboCup World Champion, DARwIn-OP.
    More about Dennis Hong

  • FESTO Bionics: Deciphering Flight

    With SmartBird—a massive, autonomous flying contraption straight out of a sci-fi fever dream—Festo has accomplished one of humankind’s oldest dreams: deciphering the flight of birds. Watch SmartBird defy gravity (as well as rationality) as it takes flight over Innovation Square throughout the day. And don’t miss the swarming, autonomous AquaJelly creatures in the aquarium tank!

  • Maurizio Porfiri: Robotic Fish

    Enter water-obsessed Maurizio Porfiri’s inventive world. Control schools of robotic fish with an iPad. Play with shape-shifting smart materials. Use a cutting-edge technique called flow tracing to build your own glow-in-the dark souvenir. And if you ask nicely, he might let you control his robotic buoys and submarines.
    More about Maurizio Porfiri

  • Howie Choset: Serpentine Robots

    A robotic snake that can scale light poles, go through pipes, clear flights of stairs, even climb your leg? This slithering, autonomous bot — designed for search-and-rescue to navigate challenging urban terrain — may one day fight terror and save lives. But seeing it in action is also a remarkable site to behold.
    More about Howie Choset

  • CCNY Robotics Lab: Urban Navigators

    The City-Flyer hovers in the air; the City-Climber scales just about anything; and the City-Alien will navigate the town. All of them demonstrate various approaches to an emerging class of autonomous urban navigators.

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