BY THELMA MARY DREYER – The 1st Hawaii International Micro Robot Conference and Tournament will be held at the ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center at the University of Hawaii at Hilo from July 16-19, 2010.
The effort is being led by the Waiakea High School Robotics Club and the Hawaii Space Grant Consortium, two groups that have provided many opportunities for science students and teachers in the field of robotics and technology.
Art Kimura, Education Specialist at the Hawaii Space Grant Consortium, said this event is being held to jumpstart the conversation on how the Big Island can benefit from micro mechanisms. The event will allow community leaders to talk to industry experts and learn about the advantages and possibilities of a micro mechanisms and robotics industry rooting from the islands.
“The exciting thing about this endeavor is the idea that the Big Island could become a center for the development of micro mechanisms research and development and a micro-robotics industry in the pacific,” Kimura said.
Because of this tournament, Hawaii students will now have the opportunity to compete without paying high costs to fly elsewhere for the same experience.
The goal of the conference is to stimulate high technology education and assist in the creation of a technically capable workforce by developing the infrastructure and skill sets necessary to support high technology robotics based activities.
“Once this is in place,” said Rep. Nakashima, a supporter of the effort, “the next step will be identifying the real world potential and application for this growing technology as we invite new industries to the Big Island to take advantage of our newly skilled work force.”
A public event featuring an origami presentation and bipedal robot demonstration will be held on Saturday, July 17, 2010, 6:30-8:00 p.m. at ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center.
· Origami presentation by Hidenori Ishihara, a robotics professor from Kagawa University.
· Bipedal robot demonstration by Risa Saito, a Japanese high school student who won the bipedal competition in the 2009 Micro Robot Contest at Nagoya University, and Hideaki Matsutani, a Japanese technical education teacher who conducts bipedal workshops in Nagoya for middle school students.
Seating for this event is first come, first served.
Thelma Mary Dreyer is the Assistant Communications Director for the Hawaii state House majority