FRC is 25!

Carnegie Mellon University is celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Field Robotics Center (the -other- FRC :slight_smile: ) this weekend. The FRC can legitimately be called the birthplace of the field robotics industry. The developments that have emerged from the FRC are truly too numerous to fully discuss, but they have made impacts in areas as diverse as agriculture, space operations, mining, ship building, construction, and cargo handling.

As part of the celebration, the FRC is holding a symposium this weekend with several notable speakers (and at least one that snuck in when no one was looking). Many of the real-world robots and systems that have been referenced in these forums will be presented. This is a great chance to hear about them directly from the people that built them.

The symposium will be webcast live. For more info, and links to the webcast, check out the symposium page at .



I was lucky enough to have a break in my classes today such that I could attend Dr. Whittaker’s talk. It was pretty amazing hearing about field robotics from the man that started it all, in addition to his philosophy about them and what he sees coming next.

According to the event website “additional symposium attendees are welcome” even though official registration is closed, so hopefully I can do some sneaking of my own; the fact that they’re webcasting it though is fantastic.


I saw the title of the thread and thought- now what did they do?!

Is this an omen. We’ll see.

; )

Congratulations to Carnegie Mellon. They KNOW robotics

I was able to catch the first talk today on robotics in space exploration, which was really fascinating… unfortunately had to leave the first session due to a few other meetings scheduled this morning. I will definitely be back for the session after lunch and Dave’s talk, and I encourage anyone at or near CMU to try to attend some of the sessions (the schedule of the presentations can be found in the link in Dave’s post), or otherwise watch the webcast. I’m hoping to snap a pic of Dave in the coon hats they’re giving the presenters - I don’t think he’s all too thrilled about that… :slight_smile:

I heard most of Dave’s talk (my inet connection got really flaky in the last 5-6 minutes and during the Q&A - dangit!). He did something VERY different than every other presenter and he told/warned the audience that he indeed was doing that. Yes he talked about robotics, but he also told the Colin Angle/Tooth story, he told personal stories about Red Whittaker and CMU’s involvement with NASA (I loved hearing about the sledgehammer handles and the bs factor). He talked about what a difference one person can make and the importance of listening to students. He talked about key lime pie and all you can eat buffets, and, in front of some of the most profoundly gifted roboticists this planet has to offer he said, “It’s not about the robots. Take care of the people and the robots will take care of themselves.” During the Q&A someone took that to heart and referenced the word “passion” several times.

It was as if he was talking to me, to us all … and then I remembered that FIRST isn’t about FIRST at all. Thanks for reminding me of an important lesson Dave and thanks for taking the time to tell a very important audience about some very important things.

Rock on to the “real” FRC and Happy Birthday Red - I hope to meet you someday.

I watched bits of Dave’s presentation in between watching the TNT webcast, and I must say, it was a very well done/interesting presentation. I really enjoyed what he said about how you should “take care of the people and the robots will take care of themselves.” very true
Congratulations to Feild Robotics Center on turning 25!

Will these be archived? I missed them, but I’d really like to listen to a few of them. (I was too busy watching the X-Prize webcast and sleeping) :o

Available for your viewing and download pleasure now!

Congrats to the Field Robotics Center ! When I first reported to work at FRC, I was starstruck my all the different professors that work in one group. CMU’s FRC must be the largest university research group in robotics. Congrats to Red as well, he continues to lead Robotics at CMU into greatness.