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On March 15th, ID KAIST students Sonya S. Kwak, Jinyung Jung, Min Joong Kim, Bomi Kim, Ryoung Kim (supervised by Professor Myung-suk Kim), ME KAIST Eun Ho Kim (supervised by Professor Yoon Keun Kwak), and RI CMU Marek P. Michalowski won the second prize and jury's prize at the HRI Student Design Competition sponsored by Lego and National Instruments which was held during the 3rd ACM/IEEE International Conference Human-Robot Interaction 2008 in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The following content about the competition is excerpted from the articles by AP(Associated Press), featured in more than twenty media including FOXNEWS, The Washington Post, Times-Standard, msnbc, etc. Associated Press All contestants were given the same set of Lego robotics _ with light, sound, touch and ultrasound sensors worth about US$250 (euro200) _ to work with. They each had National Instruments software as well. Second place, and the jury's prize, went to "Pot Bot," which could be used to monitor potted plants and determine whether they need more water or sunlight. It is a joint effort by Carnegie Mellon University and the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology. "The robot acts as a mediator to make communication between humans and nature more fluid," said team leader Sonya Kwak. The Pot Bot uses light detectors to find the strongest light source available, and then signals that information to people with two handlike front panels. It uses a series of hanging lego strips at its sides _ resembling wind chimes _ to signal wind conditions. And it can spread the strips like wings in a display of gratitude resembling a curtsey when the plant receives water. "The robot itself was not so sophisticated, but it had an artistic quality to it, and it was very different, very original," said organizer Christoph Bartneck of the International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction, explaining the jury decision.
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