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Robot: The Fantasy and The Reality
Robot explores the robots, cyborgs and androids of fiction, with an amazing range of over 20 striking artefacts from both film and television, including actual props and models from science fiction of the 20th and 21st century.
However, Robot also contrasts the fantasy with the reality, giving visitors the opportunity to play with domestic robotic pets, experience the technology of current research and industry in action, and interact with Scotland’s only full-size humanoid robot of its kind, Robothespian.
The exhibition, which will run from Saturday 2 June until Sunday 30 September, is sponsored by the University of Dundee, Subsea 7 and University of Abertay Dundee.
The exhibition will explore how humans have imagined robots to be over recent decades. Featuring imagined robots and cyborgs from the 1956 ‘Forbidden Planet’ to the recent ‘Iron Man’, Robot will also showcase a life-size R2-D2 from ‘Star Wars’, model heads from ‘Terminator, life-sized Kryten from ‘Red Dwarf’,’ and even Michael Jackson’s robotic alter-ego from ‘Moonwalker’.
Meanwhile, Robothespian, a 6’ tall, humanoid robot, is fully interactive and responsive through a touchscreen interface, amazing visitors with his lifelike and sympathetic interactions. Robothespian will remain as a year-long feature of the Science Centre until May 2013.
Robot will also highlight cutting-edge technology and engineering, showcasing innovation from local research and industry, primarily from Robot’s main partner, the University of Dundee. Scientists are showcasing their state-of-the-art iPad game designed using artificial intelligence as well as teaching visitors how to make a robot dance. Co-partners Subsea 7 and the University of Abertay Dundee, along with NCR, will be showcasing their robotic innovations, from a scale-model house operated by remote control to a supermarket self-serve check-out, as well as offering an insight into the ROV robots which scour our underwater worlds.
Visitors will also have the chance to play with a family of Pleo robots, a ‘toy’ dinosaur which is actually a sophisticated, autonomous domestic robot, capable of responding to its environment and ‘learning’.
There is also the opportunity for even the youngest of visitors to engage in simple programming, learning about control and direction with small interactive robots – Bee-Bots.
Hannah Crookes, Director of Science Learning and Public Engagement said, “We’re expecting Robot to appeal to a wide variety of audiences, from film buffs and sci-fi addicts to families looking to interact and play with our robots. There is, of course, also a strong scientific angle to the exhibition which offers an intriguing and fascinating insight into applications of robot technology being developed right on our doorstep.”
Dundee Science Centre is open daily from 10am until 5pm. For more information, telephone 01382 228800 or visitwww.sensation.org.uk.
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Dundee Channel links with Non Stop Video Games
The Dundee Channel has linked up with the non stop video gamers on IWTBS. A channel broadcast via our streaming partner Livestream. What else would you expect from the city with one of the leading Computer Games University courses in the world. But be warned the Dundee Channel has no control over the games played and occasionally players may totally lose it. IWBTS streams live video game play from around the world but mainly in the usa.
Lefties more likely to look before they leap
New research from the University of Abertay Dundee has found evidence that left-handed people may be better decision makers than their right-handed counterparts.
The new behavioural research, published in the journal ‘Laterality’, found that due to an increased ‘state anxiety’ when faced with a new task, left-handers are more likely to take their time and think about the consequences of a task before tackling it.
Dr Scott Hardie said: “Previously it has been believed that left-handed people are more anxious in general. What we believe is that it is the ‘state anxiety’ as opposed to ‘trait anxiety’ that differs between left-handers and right-handers. This means that it’s the reaction to the here and now, a current situation rather than an individual’s general disposition.
“What we don’t know is whether the increased state anxiety is caused by the motivation of trying to get it right, or the fear of getting it wrong?”
Wright said: “There are a number of factors that could affect this. For example up until recent years when a left-handed person was learning to write they were discouraged from using their left hand and forced to switch to their right, often to their detriment. There are also a great number of objects or activities in daily life that are designed for right-handed people, which can be disconcerting for left-handers such as can openers, scissors, notepads, right sided writing desks, guitars and other musical instruments. Because of this many left-handers are used to having to think before they act and perhaps to second guess what feels natural.”
What we’re not talking about is personality inhibition. Nor are we saying that left-handed individuals live in a constant state of anxiety, far from it actually. The ability to plan and think things out is advantageous in most situations.”
“State anxiety in this case, focuses attention on the task in hand and allows a proper evaluation of options and outcomes. We feel that left-handers’ ‘inhibition’ is a manifestation of the old idiom ‘look before you leap’ and may in many cases be a better strategy than the alternative ‘fools rush in’.”
1 in 10 people are thought to be left-handed and famous ‘south paws’ include US President Barack Obama. In fact, five out of the last seven US Presidents have been left-handed.
Dr Wright and Dr Hardie are behavioural psychologists specialising in biological and cognitive psychology including emotions and laterality, preferential use of either the left or the right side.
In order to take the research forward they are hoping to expand their work to looking at different age groups, different social pressures and other potential contributory factors.
Anybody interested in taking part in future resea
rch is urged to contact Abertay University.
Future of education on show to MSP at Abertay
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