Not your ordinary tour guide

“The technical name is Jupiter, but we decided to do a spin-off and call it T-Bot, since T-Bone is our mascot.”

Seidenberg Professor of Information Technology Pauline Mosley, DPS refers to one of the newest members of the Pace community. T-Bot, as he is affectionately known, is no ordinary robot. In fact, it’s Pace’s new recruiting tool.

“It started in 2020 — in August I got a Provost Fellowship from Pace for about $4,000,” says Mosley. Seidenberg Dean Jonathan Hill supported this initiative and purchased another Jupiter robot and funded the training of the research team through Teams from Singapore for a week. “With this, I bought a Jupiter robot.”

A Jupiter robot is an integrated and open artificial intelligence development platform that can be used to develop applications to solve real-world problems, ranging from autonomous navigation to voice interaction, and much more. In other words, it’s a pretty cool robot.

One of the reasons Mosley was interested in purchasing a Jupiter robot is that she thought it was more collegial – a launching point for unique collaborative projects and a means by which Pace students could participate in competitions, both nationally and internationally. Plus, it would make Pace a leader in robotics, a place where students from across the region could gather to brainstorm, brainstorm, and work on unique research projects.

This is exactly what happened. The Pace Robotics Club, led by assistant professors Mosley and Seidenberg, Matt Ganis and Lisa Ellrodt, essentially came into being as a result of Pace’s acquisition of the Jupiter Robot. A combination of local high school students seeking to do advanced robotics research, current Seidenberg students at all levels, as well as faculty members, have coalesced around this exciting new technology.

“That’s how the club started. He works with gifted high school students in the Westchester County area, he works with our undergraduates and our graduate and doctoral students. It’s a really nice sample of intellect working together to try to solve problems,” says Mosley.

“It’s tomorrow’s technology – the high school, undergraduate and graduate students involved in this club are really going to solve today’s problems using tomorrow’s technology – that’s a big positive,” Ellrodt added.

The club’s major project is the development of T-Bot, a robot designed to act as a tourist guide. Currently, T-Bot is scheduled to educate its audience on the many benefits of a Seidenberg training – discussing Seidenberg’s labs, its cybersecurity program, the accomplishments of Cybersecurity Director Li-Chiou Chen, and much more.

Mosley hopes that T-Bot could be, in addition to a selling point in itself, a vehicle for consistently delivering information not usually offered on tour. For example, the fact that Seidenberg has an above-average percentage of female faculty and students, and a strong mentorship network aimed at increasing the number of young women in the cybersecurity pipeline.

“We have a lot of visits, we always have open days, parents always want to know more about Seidenberg in general. We have great students doing this – sometimes the tour guides are Pace students but not Seidenberg students, who may not know our programs, the individuals in our schools, to really market Seidenberg well. That’s where the idea came to me – if we could get this robot, and take the highlights of our school, and have the robot say it – that would be an addition to a human tour guide, additional in that he would represent our school very well,” Mosley said.

While T-Bot’s current focus is on Seidenberg-specific visits, the potential projects and possibilities for T-Bot are endless. For example, Ellrodt is in the early stages of considering a collaboration with Seidenberg’s Blue CoLab, a STEM lab aimed at innovating real-time water monitoring to improve water quality and overall health. , led by Professor John Cronin.

“Blue CoLab, they have a boat with sensors that monitor environmental information around Choate Pond,” Ellrodt notes. “We thought it would be really cool for T-Bot to say what those readings are.”

The future is certainly bright for Pace’s Robotics Club. With increased funding, Mosley hopes to be able to assemble a group of talented students to compete in international robotics competitions and build Pace’s influence through strong relationships with local high schools and high school students interested in the field. But more than anything, she takes pride in the environment that T-Bot and the Robotics Club have built, an environment of intellectual curiosity, innovation, and shared community.

“In Westchester, to my knowledge, there is no physical think tank or hub, where minds can just hang out and think. Where is there a space where people could deepen the discipline and push the boundaries of programming? Where are these kids hanging out? My goal is to create a space for those curious minds who love to tinker, code, discover and explore as well as innovation. I seek to create physical and virtual spaces where innovation and experimentation are cultivated and encouraged in a safe environment, controlled by positive teachers and students. »