Science Rendezvous is a Canada-wide annual festival that takes science out of the lab and onto the street. This year the Science Rendezvous was held on 11th May 2019. HotPopRobot […]
Science Rendezvous is a Canada-wide annual festival that takes science out of the lab and onto the street. This year the Science Rendezvous was held on 11th May 2019.
HotPopRobot was invited to participate in the event as a part of the Science-Art Gallery at the University of Toronto, St. George Campus. We were excited as this was our second year of participating in this event. Click here to read about our participation in the previous year.
For this year, we decided to showcase projects that merged space with arts to excite the next generation about space exploration. Space exploration makes use of all kinds of skill sets: engineering, maths, machine learning, robotics, arts, and music. There are no outsiders to space exploration: space is that infinite expanse that is inclusive and belongs to all.
We demonstrated 3 of our projects for Science Rendezvous 2019. These were:
- TRAPPIST1: Light and Sound Model
- Deep Space Musical
- Make an Astronaut Smile (MArS) Bot
TRAPPIST 1 is our exoplanetary model which models the TRAPPIST 1a star and the seven planets that orbit around it. The time period of revolution of these 7 planets is a whole number ratio to each other: 2-3-4-6-9-15-24. The simple whole number relationships between the periods are similar to the ratios between musical notes that produce pleasant and harmonic sounds. These resonant ratios keep the Trappist-1 system stable. Our TRAPPIST 1 model is made out of LEDs, relays, Arduino and DJing software. The project won the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada’s Imagining the Skies Contest.
Deep Space Musical converts iconic images from the Hubble Space Telescope into music. It does so using a programme written in python that converts the intensity of pixels (or their brightness) into different musical notes. It allows the visually challenged too, to visualize different objects in the universe including planets, galaxies, nebula and globular clusters. Deep Space Musical won the 2018 NASA SpaceApps Toronto and was a Global Nominee. In the global round, it emerged amongst the top 25 finalists.
Make an Astronaut Smile (MArS) Bot is a robot that uses machine learning to detect facial emotions. The idea is that during prolonged space travel, astronauts may feel a range of emotions, including sadness as they are away from friends and families. The MArS Bot would detect facial emotions and give sad astronauts a high-five to cheer them up. The Bot was made using household items as well as arduino, servos and webcamera. The programming was done on arduino as well as in Python.
We were very excited to demonstrate our projects. Hundreds of kids, youths, and adults came to our stall and we gave them a demonstration of our projects. There were lights, sounds and visuals being displayed in our stall which made sure that everyone was able to experience the joys of space exploration. Lots of questions were asked about science, programming, and space during the day by children and their parents. Many were fascinated to learn that there could be other solar systems similar to ours. The younger kids and adults were most fascinated by our MArS Bot and they found it unbelievable that the robot could be controlled simply by human emotions. It also drew the most laughter and squeals.
We are immensely thankful to the organizers of the event who made our participation possible. We also thank the volunteers who helped us set up the stall and provided support throughout the day.
Thank you. We look forward to being in Science Rendezvous 2020 with newer exhibits.