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Field Trip : FITC FutureWorld 2018

This past weekend in Toronto I attended FITC FutureWorld held at the Ontario College of Art and Design (OCAD). FutureWorld is a collection of talks and presentations evolving around robots, artificial intelligence, and smart machines.

Originally I wanted to attend the event because I would get to hear from the legendary Syd Mead. Syd’s iconic design work help visualized some classic films of all time like Blade Runner, Blade Runner 2048, Aliens, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, and TRON. I did not want to pass up the chance hearing from Syd (even though it was a via a remote livestream conference).  The presentation started with Andra Keay talking about the fears some people have with robotics. Ryan Garipey discussed robotic testing environments like warehouses. It makes total sense, instead of rushing out to make smart cars run in the streets. Sougwen Chun an artist, showed her collaboration with a robot using traditional art mediums. Xavier Snelgrove discussed how AI is used in the creative processes.

The talks that stood out for me were Lisa Winter, a robot builder famous for her entries in Robot Wars and Battlebots. It was a fascinating perspective on how you need to build the ultimate fighting robot. Boback Ferdowski a systems engineer for NASA JPL discussed working on the Mars Curiosity / Rover mission. It’s truly amazing that Curiosity’s specifications were less than an iPhone 5 spec. To close off the day Jared Ficklin of Argo Design discussed the concept of singularity. That lead into a livestream conversation with Syd Mead. He discussed about designing for the future and some of the projects he worked on. I would have liked more Q&A time but just hearing about his thought process and the cues of industrial / product design was really a cool treat. I’m glad I was able to attend this event. It provided me some great research, that I hope to incorporate in my future projects.  Below are some photos from the day and some slides that stood out.