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Features

The Cost of      Catastrophe
209
Portraits of a Chinese      Past
Welcome to Scripps      Around the Globe

Making Waves

Robo-Pooch
Digital Fish
Dancing in the Desert
Ticking down to the      "Big One"
Sixth Sense
Spamalot

Archive
 

Features May 2004: Volume 1, Number 2
   

Robo-Pooch

 
     


Next time you see a pack of hounds sniffing around a landfill, they may in fact be robots.

Visual Arts Assistant Professor Natalie Jeremijenko, along with UCSD students in her art and technology class, surgically enhanced commercial robotic dogs, equipping them with cameras and air-sampling devices. Then they dispatched them to collect scientific data about dangerous toxins in environmentally damaged zones. The mechanical dogs are part of Jeremijenko’s plan to teach students not only technical competence but also an awareness of larger societal issues, and then to create useful inventions that will spur change.

Last year, the dogs were unleashed at the Mission Bay landfill. They have also traveled across oceans and been spotted sniffing around London and Dublin. This year, Jeremijenko will take her robo-pooches for a workshop in the San Jose area to snoop out the contaminated sites in Silicon Valley.

Finally, dogs with more byte than bark!

Contributors to Making Waves: Mario Aguilera, '89, Marnette Federis, '06, Beverly Gallagher, '98, Raymond Hardie and Inga Kiderra.

RELATED LINKS

Natalie Jeremijenko Biography
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UCSD Department of Visual Arts
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"The mechanical dogs... teach students not only technical competence but also an awareness of larger societal issues, and then to create useful inventions that will spur change."