International robotics expert is part of Engineers Week

contact: Mark Schwerin
| WMU News
Photo of Rodolphe .


KALAMAZOO—The head of research for an international firm pioneering the latest robotics technology worldwide will be the featured speaker during 2013 Engineers Week festivities next month at Western Michigan University.

Rodolphe Gelin, director of research for Aldebaran Robotics, with locations in Boston, Paris and Shanghai, will speak at the Engineers Week Dinner Tuesday, Feb. 19, in the Fetzer Center. The dinner is at 6:30 p.m. and begins with a social hour at 5:30 p.m. The presentation begins at 7:30 p.m.

The dinner is part of activities celebrating the 62nd anniversary of National Engineers Week, an annual event organized by engineering societies to increase public awareness and appreciation of engineers and their work. Fifteen southwest Michigan engineering societies are joining with WMU to mark the annual observance.

Rodolphe Gelin

Aldebaran Robotics produces the Nao, a personal humanoid robot. The company has 2,600 of the toddler-sized robots in research programs designed to assist older people and those with emotional challenges.

Gelen earned his master's degree in artificial intelligence from the University of Paris VI and his engineering degree from the French National School of Bridges and Streets. He has worked on the development of robots for more than 30 years and is the leader of the French project ROMEO, which aims to develop a full-size humanoid robot.

In his presentation, Gelen will share his passion for robotics and goal of making robots everyday companions for humans.

This is the 34th year the annual dinner has been staged at WMU. Last year's event attracted more than 80 high school students and 80 college students as well as 70 professionals.

Earlier in the day, area high school students interested in engineering or related technologies and their teachers will attend a program at WMU's College of Engineering and Applied Sciences on the Parkview Campus focusing on several specific applications of engineering.


Reservations for the dinner are $25 for professionals and $10 for students. Reservations must be made by Friday, Feb. 15. 

For more information and reservation forms, visit or contact Jorge Rodriguez at the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences at (269) 276-3374.