Not every animal-like robot leads to huge advances, but many do. The company’s engineering division designs and markets more than 100 new products for global factories every year, Brockman said.
“We want to get young people interested in science,” Brockman said. “There are cool jobs out there. Manufacturing isn’t dirty and loud like it was a generation ago.”
Layne, a professor of biological sciences in UC's McMicken College of Arts and Sciences, said they created the new summer program with an eye toward appealing to students who are on the fence about pursuing science as a career. Layne and his students have been studying the incredible navigational abilities of fiddler crabs, which map out every step and turn they make to find their way back to the same hole in the sand.
“A lot went into trying to think of what would be cool. What might appeal to a kid that age?” he said.
Robots and animals appeal to a lot of people. And this would let the professors touch on physics, math and other sciences in a relatable way, he said.
Maynard, associate dean of UC’s College of Education, Criminal Justice and Human Services, said the program helps to put UC President Neville Pinto’s strategic plan, Next Lives Here, into action to improve the lives of Cincinnati high school students.
“You create the inspiration that leads to aspiration,” Maynard said, “and then it’s all about preparation and hard work.”