A unique robotics installation featuring a singing, dancing computer avatar controlled by hand gestures is just one of a series of demonstrations and lectures in a diverse University of Western Sydney conference starting this week.
The Spinning/ Screaming Head, featuring UWS Research Fellow and Artist in Residence Stelarc, will utilise a Kinect sensor to animate and give voice to a three dimensional avatar, in a unique performance display at the Powerhouse Museum on Friday the 9th of December, 2011.
The performance is part of the UWS Researching Communications (ResCom) Conference, which features local and international experts in fields including psychology, music and communication arts, linguistics, sensory neuroscience, human-machine interaction, and bioengineering.
ResCom features a UWS research festival where UWS academics will present four minute 'speed papers' akin to speed dating, as well as three symposia exploring the latest advances in medicine, robotics and neuroscience.
The Director of MARCS Auditory Laboratories at UWS, Professor Denis Burnham, says collaboration is often the key to providing scientific breakthroughs.
"Bringing medical researchers, engineers, roboticists and psychologists together might seem strange or unusual, but this meeting of the minds represents the future of research in a world where traditional boundaries are fast disappearing," Professor Burnham says.
The Thinking Systems Frontiers symposium, held at the Powerhouse Museum on December 8 - 9, will focus on the development of artificial robots and intelligent machines utilising the latest advances in cognitive science.
The Sensory Neuroscience Symposium, at the UWS School of Medicine December 12, brings together researchers from around Australia working on elements of the sensory nervous system.
The Australian workshop on Computational Neuroscience, at the UWS School of Medicine December 13-14, will examine the latest developments in the information processing properties of biological nervous systems.
Keynote speakers for the Thinking Systems Frontiers conference include:
* Professor Jane Goodall, University of Western Sydney, Cultural Frameworks in Robotics
* Associate Professor Håkan Olausson, University of Gothenburg, Sweden, Neural mechanisms of pleasant touch
* Professor Mandyam V. Srinivasan, Queensland Brain Institute, Vision, orientation and navigation in honeybees and applications to robotics
For more information please visit http://marcs.uws.edu.au/rescom/
For more information on Stelarc go to http://stelarc.org/?catID=20247
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