Heather Knight’s comedic robots to perform at San Jacinto College

02.13.2015 | By Andrea Vasquez

A robot comedian, robot film festival, and Cyborg Cabaret are all part of Marilyn Monrobot Labs, founded by Carnegie Mellon doctoral candidate and social roboticist, Heather Knight. She will bring her robotic comedy show to the San Jacinto College South Campus on Tuesday, March 3.

When describing a social roboticist, Knight simply explains that she makes robots that interact with people in a human way. Her current research involves human-robot interaction, non-verbal machine communications, and non-anthropomorphic social robots.

Data, the robot comedian, has a large database of jokes programmed internally. Each joke is labeled with certain attributes so that Data knows something about the subject, length, and flow of the joke. Data then watches the audience’s response and begins to cater the following jokes based on audience interaction and participation. Over time, Data can then tailor a comedy routine based on its audience such as children, adults, and different cultures.

An alumna from the Personal Robots Group at the MIT Media Lab, Knight was named to the 2011 Forbes List for 30 under 30 in Science, and is featured for her Robot Comedy performances at TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) conferences. Her work also includes robotics and instrumentation at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, interactive installations with Syyn Labs (including the award winning "This too shall pass" Rube Goldberg Machine music video with OK GO), and field applications and sensor design at Aldebaran Robotics.

Heather Knight’s presentation will be at the San Jacinto College South Campus on Tuesday, March 3 at 7 p.m. in the Proscenium Theatre inside the Marie Spence Flickinger Fine Arts Center. The South Campus is located at 13735 Beamer Road in Houston. This is event is sponsored by the San Jacinto College Lyceum Committee.

 

About San Jacinto College

Surrounded by monuments of history, industries and maritime enterprises of today, and the space age of tomorrow, San Jacinto College has been serving the citizens of East Harris County, Texas, for more than 50 years. As an Achieving the Dream Leader College, San Jacinto College is committed to the goals and aspirations of a diverse population of approximately 30,000 credit students. The College offers 186 degrees and certificates, with 46 technical programs and a university transfer division. Students benefit from a support system that maps out a pathway for success, and job training programs that are renowned for meeting the needs of growing industries in the region. San Jacinto College graduates contribute nearly $690 million each year to the Texas workforce.

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