Robots Arrive at the Westport Library

September 29, 2014



Sept. 29, 2014 - A pair of robots have arrived at the Westport Library! See them in action at a special demonstration Saturday, October 11, at 11:30 am on Star Wars Reads Day.

Developed by the company Aldebaran, the 23-inch-tall robots are an incredible resource in the educational realm, as they allow students of all ages to learn computer programming in a fun and practical way. Named Nancy and Vincent, they can be programmed to respond to vocal commands, recognize faces, carry out conversations, walk, catch and kick a small soccer ball, and even dance!

But that's not all these amazing little robots can do.

Developers quickly realized the huge potential for the autonomous pair, as they present a powerful and incredibly expressive medium for creating applications that can tailor the robots to work with us. For example, Vincent and Nancy can be programmed to tell stories and speak languages. But that's just scratching the surface of their potential impact. 

As featured in The Wall Street Journal and The Hour, there are big plans for the robots. 




Q: Why robots? 
A: We are surrounded by robots, in one form or another, from factory assembly lines to responsive smart phones. In the tradition of introducing disruptive technologies such as 3D printing, the Westport Library will take the fiction out of science fiction, and present robots in a new and personal light. Nancy and Vincent will provide demonstrations of their skills, and for patrons who wish to program them, workshops will be provided at different levels. 

Q: When can I see the robots?
A: Vincent and Nancy made their grand debut on Star Wars Reads Day. (Check out the video, here!) In November, a series of classes will begin to introduce and teach robotics.

Q: How can I sign up to learn how to use, interact, and program the robots?

A: Throughout November, we will offer various workshops to learn the software that comes with the robots and introduce the computer language, Python. Check the website for more information, coming soon.

Q: How did the Library pay for the robots?

A: The funds were donated by several family foundations.

Be sure to stay tuned to our website for all the details on what we have coming up with Vincent and Nancy.