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Pepper guides Queensland’s brightest young minds

Students meet Pepper at the QUT Vice-Chancellor's STEM camp in Brisbane. Image supplied by QUT

High-achieving students from across the state are taking part in the QUT Vice-Chancellor’s STEM camp, helping to accelerate their understanding of science, technology engineering and maths.

Greeted by Pepper, the world’s first personal humanoid robot that can recognise emotions, the 160 students came from Brisbane, Ipswich, Logan, Caboolture, the Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast, Toowoomba, Fraser Coast, Bundaberg, Gladstone, Rockhampton, Longreach, Mackay, Townsville and Cairns.

QUT’s STEM Leader (Teacher in Residence) Matt Brooks said for the first time Pepper (created by SoftBank Robotics) would be integral to the learning program.

The slender robot can mimic human behaviours, such as following the conversation by looking at whoever is talking and responding to questions asked by students.

One of Pepper’s key ‘jobs’ at QUT is interacting with students and the public at The Cube – the university’s interactive STEM space with two-storey digital screens.

2017’s hands-on research projects will tackle topics including:

  • the 3D printing of body parts
  • superbug outbreaks
  • mathematics for imaging and virtual reality
  • robot assistants
  • water engineering to prevent inland tsunamis
  • increasing bone strength in athletes

Acting Queensland Premier Curtis Pitt visited the students taking part in the camp to support and promote the importance of STEM in education.

“This camp is supporting the next generation of researchers and innovators and showcases all the opportunities available to young Queenslanders who want to pursue further education in STEM subjects,” Mr Pitt said.

The QUT Vice-Chancellor’s STEM camp is now in its fifth year and is an exclusive application-only experience for high-achieving senior school students. The STEM camp is fully funded by QUT, and caters for 80 Brisbane students and 80 from regional Queensland.

Source: QUT

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