Thursday, October 03, 2013
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications (304) 696-7153

Director of Multi-Robot Systems Lab at Rice featured speaker at Yeager Scholars Symposium

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Dr. James McLurkin, director of the Multi-Robot Systems Lab at Rice University, will be the featured speaker Tuesday, Oct. 8, at the annual Society of Yeager Scholars Symposium at Marshall University.

The event begins at 7 p.m. and takes place in room BE5, located on the lower level of the Memorial Student Center on the Huntington campus. It is free to the public.

McLurkin’s lecture is titled “Man and Machine: Exploring the Future of Humanity and Robotics.” He will speak on swarm robotics. Measuring 4.5 inches, McLurkin's swarm robots are programmed to emulate the behavior of bees, with capabilities to cluster, disperse, follow and orbit. Equipped with bump sensors, a self-charger, a radio modem and an audio system, they are autonomous yet travel in a fleet. When one robot makes a discovery, it signals the group to execute the task together.

The swarm robots were originally built under a team McLurkin managed at iRobot in Massachusetts.

McLurkin received his S.B. in Electrical Engineering from MIT, his M.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, and his S.M. and Ph.D. in computer science from MIT. McLurkin began his postdoctoral appointment at the University of Washington in 2008; he is using probabilistic models for algorithm development. His words of advice to aspiring inventors: “Empowerment and go.”

A question-and-answer session and a reception will follow the lecture, which is sponsored by the Marshall Honors College, the Pace Family and Wells Fargo Insurance.

For further information, contact:  Office of University Communications
Marshall University | 213 Old Main | Huntington, WV 25755-1090
Fax: (304) 696-3197