Robots on the rise: ASU researchers at the forefront

October 5, 2011

Robotics is becoming one of the most prolific areas of technological advancement.

Engineers are at work on designs for robotic devices that promise to aid progress in almost every field of human endeavor – and ASU researchers are at the forefront of the wave of robotics innovation. They’re developing ideas for ways robots could be employed in health and medical fields, in education, in national defense and security, and in far-flung efforts to expand exploration of the deep sea and outer space. Download Full Image

ASU’s Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering and School of Earth and Space Exploration are giving students opportunities to participate in projects to develop and program a variety of robot prototypes.

The work draws on expertise across a broad range of specialties, from mechanical and biomedical engineering to mathematics, communications technology, electronics and computer science. And it delves into some of the more fascinating questions about technological possibilities – predominantly the pursuit of creating “intelligent” machines that could communicate and interact with humans.

Joe Kullman

Science writer, Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering


Lecture to examine sustainability in metro Phoenix

October 6, 2011

“Urban Sustainability in the Age of Climate Justice: Lessons from Metro Phoenix” will be the topic of an Oct. 25 lecture at Arizona State University’s West campus. The presenter is Andrew Ross, a professor of social and cultural analysis at New York University and the author of the new book “Bird on Fire: Lessons from the World’s Least Sustainable City” (Oxford University Press).

Ross’ presentation is scheduled for 4:00-5:30 p.m., Oct. 25 in the Kiva Lecture Hall, in the Sands Classroom Building at the West campus, 4701 W. Thunderbird Road in Phoenix. The event is free and open to the public; visitor parking costs $2 per hour. A reception with Ross will follow his lecture. Andrew Ross Download Full Image

“The theme of Dr. Ross’ presentation is very lively and also controversial,” said Kristin Koptiuch, a faculty member in ASU’s New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, which is hosting Ross’ visit as part of its ThinK (Tuesdays in Kiva) series. “Our goal is to encourage thoughtful discussion among people who care about the future of metropolitan Phoenix. But you can be sure this won’t be your typical ‘booster’ talk.”

In his lecture, drawn on his own research in the Phoenix area, Ross will argue that the key solutions to creating sustainable cities are more social than technical in nature. He believes that marketing a “green” lifestyle to affluent residents will create showplace sustainable enclaves, but will not alter the patterns of “eco-apartheid” that afflict most large U.S. cities.

Ross’ new book “Bird on Fire” is based on extensive interviews he conducted in metropolitan Phoenix and examines some of the region’s biggest challenges, including water management, urban growth, immigration policy, pollution, energy supply, and downtown revitalization, within the context of his arguments for policies that promote environmental justice.

Ross has authored numerous other books, including “Nice Work If You Can Get It: Life and Labor in Precarious Times,” “Fast Boat to China: Corporate Flight and the Consequences of Free Trade; Lessons from Shanghai,” and “The Celebration Chronicles: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Property Value in Disney’s New Town.”

Several ASU departments collaborated with New College to cosponsor Ross’ appearance. They include Barrett, The Honors College; the Center for Critical Inquiry and Cultural Studies; the Division of Humanities, Arts and Cultural Studies; the Division of Mathematical and Natural Sciences; the Division of Social and Behavioral Sciences; and the Social Justice and Human Rights program.

For additional information about this and other ThinK events at the West campus, call (602) 543-4521. You can also visit the Facebook page for the event at