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Small, multi-disciplinary teams of creative people work throughout the week to create imaginative solutions to a variety of important problems. Their work is presented at the end of the week to the public and a panel of distinguished judges. Participants of all backgrounds and skill levels are welcome, but they must be open to meeting and working with other people.

Meeting Times
Team Creation and Problem Selection
Monday, 11 August, 3:45 - 5:30 pm
Room 505

Final Judging for Fun & Prizes
Friday, 15 August, 1:45 - 3:30 pm
Room 411

Teams are formed by the organizers at the first meeting based on a quasi-random process. Participants are free to recruit other members to their teams during the conference. There is no need to notify anyone when teams expand.

Each team chooses one of the following three problems to work on:

1. All animals, including people, experience the world in different ways. Every animal has unique sensory equipment and a unique way of processing the information it delivers. Some animals sense things that people are unaware of, and others sense the same things people do but interpret them differently. Choose a specific animal and design a system to enable a person to experience the physical or social world as that animal does.

2. Robots can go where it is too dangerous for people: for example, the heart of a comet, the bottom of the ocean, or the caldera of an active volcano. Choose a challenging environment, describe a robot (including any necessary intelligence), and design a user interface to enable human operators to understand the robot's environment and guide its actions. The interface should gracefully handle time lag, lost data, and other communication problems.

3. Some virtual reality experiences require a head-mounted display and the software to drive it. The Segway only works because of a careful balance of new hardware and software. Swinging a tennis racket in a video game is more fun with a Wii remote than a keyboard. Identify one or more interactive activities or experiences that are awkward or impossible with today's technologies, and design new hardware and software to enable those experiences.

Teams may use any medium to present their ideas: speech, slides, performance art, demo, song, etc. A projector, screen, and microphone will be available, but bring your own laptop if you wish to project.

Participating teams will be judged by the following six criteria, in equal measure:

Jim Blinn, Danny Cohen-Or, Takeo Igarashi

Master of Ceremonies
Andrew Glassner

Marie-Paule Cani & Adam Finkelstein
If you have questions, please send them to: speedlab2008 (at)