Our mission is to make the world excited about the beauty, the fun, the importance, and the challenges of robotics and AI, through learning experiences that are tangible, accessible, and inclusive.
Robotics and AI
The beauty and the fun
AI and robotics are the most beautiful disciplines – it’s mankind’s attempt at creating artificial creatures that think and act like us.
And it’s fun, seeing robots go!
The importance and the challenges
AI and robotics will change our world. Everybody should understand the possibilities, the current status and how much is left to do.
While most of our activity results in the development of a hardware and software platform, the platform is only a means to an end: we care about the experience that is enabled by the platform.
We believe that to learn robotics you have to be able to touch a robot. We learn by handling and doing.
We join the maker spirit with the academic spirit: the experiences are fun, but there is also a path of academic learning.
We strive to design a hardware/software platform that is inexpensive and experiences that are easily reproducible.
We promote the broad understanding of the effects of robotics and AI in society, and we want to reach previously underserved demographics.
The story of Duckietown
The goal was to build a platform that was small-scale and cute yet still preserved the real scientific challenges inherent in a full-scale real autonomous robot platform.
Here is the very first lecture for Duckietown in 2016:
The first demo
The first class had 24 students and culminated with a year-end demo in a full sized hockey rink. There were over 3000 visitors.
In the meantime, all of the pieces of the experience (the slides, the demos, the platform, the software) were made openly available and other institutions began to take interest.
The platform has since been used at several universities around the globe, including NCTU in Taiwan, Tsinghua in China, and RPI in the United States among many others.
The joint class of 2017
The result was a coordinated global demo that showcased the students’ achievements.
Present and Future
The 2018 Kickstarter
To achieve this, we needed to make the Duckietown platform cheaper, easier to obtain and able to provide more learning experiences and opportunities for performing cutting edge research.
To achieve this objective we launched a successful kickstarter campaign and we now have an easier way for people to acquire the hardware.
The AI Driving Olympics
AI-DO2 will be held at the International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA) in May 2019.