URI Engineering Students Exhibit Their Brain Power

Dan Brogan
Dan Brogan shows Alexander Armey, 6, how to control a robot with his laptop. URI photo by Michael Salerno.

By Neil Nachbar

University of Rhode Island engineering students spend ample time getting hands-on experience with innovative technology.

Two of those students had the rare opportunity to share their experience with the public through interactive demonstrations at URI’s Brain Fair on March 16.

Dan Brogan, a junior mechanical engineering student, brought a couple of robots from URI’s Artificial Intelligence (AI) Lab for people to operate.

“The Brain Fair allowed us to connect with people of all ages and invite them to the AI Lab’s public programs, where the objective is to educate and inspire people of all backgrounds about AI, so we can be more prepared for the future,” said Brogan, who is from Bristol, R.I.

Noah Johnson, an electrical engineering graduate student, introduced augmented reality (AR) to participants, through the use of a headset.

“I enjoyed how excited the kids were to interact with our bleeding-edge teaching demo,” said Johnson, from Toledo, Ohio. “It was a great opportunity for myself and other members of the Smart Networking and Computing Lab to present some of our recent research using virtual reality and augmented reality to aid in education.”

The third annual event, held at Avedisian Hall, featured 30 learning stations and five guest speakers.