Students Get Their “Robot Driver’s Licenses”

On Girl’s Day, female students experienced first hand how CITEC scientists research robots and new technologies

Teaching a robot how to navigate an obstacle course or using special glasses to measure eye movement when searching for objects: 12 female students from Grades 7 – 10 got to try out these research activities for themselves with scientists at the Cluster of Excellence Cognitive Interaction Technology (CITEC).

Students attended two workshops where they got to experience practical scientific work first hand. In one workshop called “The Eyes as a Gate to Consciounsess,” they learned how to measure the eye movements of a study participant using an eye tracker device – special glasses that display measurements as dots on a computer monitor – and developed their own small research study. In the workshop “Get Your Robot Driver’s License” the girls programmed a mobile robot and taught it to navigate on its own along a pre-determined path.

While visiting the different CITEC laboratories, the girls met the robots iCub and Nao and took a virtual shopping tour through a supermarket at the virtual reality lab.

On Girl’s Day, companies and institutions of higher learning throughout Germany open their doors to female students in Grades 5 and above. Girl’s Day events give young women the chance to learn about career opportunities and academic study programmes in IT, skilled technical trades, the sciences, and engineering – fields in which women have traditionally been underrepresented.