Mother of Machine: Teaching a Robot to See and Recognize

Sarah Petkus

Sarah Petkus

Speaker Bio

I am an illustrator/engineer who creates kinetic works of art that are “living” versions of the characters I draw! I spend the majority of my time developing behavioral systems which give my robots distinctive personalities and ultimately set them apart from other utilitarian machines.

Creating my mechanical children is my passion and pretty much what I spend all of my time doing.


Raising a Robot (5min)
• Introduction to myself, NoodleFeet, and the “Mother of Machine” project
Designing Familiarity (~10min)
• How I used TensorFlow to teach my robot how to relate objects to other objects
• Show the mechanism, hardware and electronics involved in doing so
• Share my process of object training with intentional flaws built-in to help produce more
‘human-like’ results
Cause and Effect (~7min)
• How I used object recognition to trigger behaviors: mechanical responses that help
communicate the robot’s personality
Wrap-up (~3min)
• Show the results and share my resources