OSU engineers bring robots, "creation station" to Da Vinci Days


CORVALLIS, Ore.-Da Vinci Days, the annual celebration of art, science and technology that infuses the streets of Corvallis with everything from kinetic sculptures and electric violin music to animated films and a "tagging wall" for graffiti artists, will this year host real "live" robots from the Oregon State University College of Engineering.

The robots, called TekBots ™ because of the financial support from Tektronix, are built by OSU engineering students who apply the theory they learn in the classroom to the hands-on creation of wireless robots that become more and more complex during their engineering education at OSU.

At da Vinci Days, these robots will be part of OSU Engineering's "Creation Station," where they will be running the TekBot Maze Race and helping festival-goers create "robot-assisted" artwork. Visitors to the Creation Station can also get up-close views of innovative student projects like the mini-Baja racecar with its next-generation braking system.

OSU engineering students involved with the TekBots program will be on hand to tell their stories and answer questions about the program, which was launched to make engineering education more fun and is the only one of its kind in the nation.

Other planned exhibits at the festival's science and technology section include robots featured on TV's "Robotica" with a build-your-own mini battling robots section, plus the FIRST High School robotic creations.

To visit OSU Engineering's Creation Station, stop by lower Campus Way on the OSU campus on Saturday, July 20 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. or Sunday, July 21, from 1-4 pm.

The da Vinci Days celebration takes place July 18-21 in Corvallis. The theme this year is "Motion, Music, Magic!" A range of festival events is scheduled, including a film and video festival, live music, parades, races, performing arts and an international food court. For more information on the festival, visit the official da Vinci Days website: http://www.davinci-days.org/.