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King Creativity Symposium Features Developer of Human-Like Social Robots

Named “head of his class” in social robotics by Science, Hanson merges machine intelligence and figurative art into realistic robot faces dubbed the “most advanced in the world” by the BBC.

Southwestern University will host the fifth annual King Creativity Symposium at 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday, April 4, in the McCombs Ballroom of the Red and Charlene McCombs Campus Center. In conjunction with the symposium, David Hanson, CEO and founder of Human Emulation Robotics, will present a lecture at 8 p.m., in Room 105 of the F.W. Olin Building.

In 2000, Southwestern University alumnus W. Joseph “Joey” King ‘93 donated $500,000 to Southwestern University to establish and endow the King Creativity Fund, which annually supports “innovative and visionary projects” of enrolled students. The fund supports up to 20 projects in any given academic year with each grant award ranging up to $1,500.

This year’s King Creativity Scholars have explored a broad array of topics and taken unusual paths to do so. Exhibits featuring the work of all the student award recipients will be displayed at the Symposium. Among those featured are: The Colored Museum: Showcasing Exhibits of Cultural Identity by Phaedra Jackson and The Unseen World: A Microbiological Photo Safari by Sarah Beth Raison and Blithe Casterline.

Named “head of his class” in social robotics by Science, Hanson merges machine intelligence and figurative art into realistic robot faces dubbed the “most advanced in the world” by the BBC. He led development endeavors of an autonomous walking robot as well as electroactive polymer (EAP) artificial muscles at Walt Disney Imagineering. Hanson has received awards for both art and engineering, including NASA’s Space Act Inventions and Contributions Monetary Award for best invention. His core innovations are the result of his work as a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Texas at Dallas.

King is a managing director of Trinity River Capital Ventures, where he advises new companies on corporate strategy and financing. He is also an adjunct professor and entrepreneur in residence in the Neeley School of Business at Texas Christian University and an affiliate research professor at the Human Interface Technology Laboratory of the University of Washington. He is a fellow at the Advanced Telecommunication Research Institute in Kyoto, Japan, and conducted research at Hughes Research Laboratories and GTE Telecommunications Research. King has served as a consultant to Siemens, Hughes Electronics, Microsoft, Interval Research, Walt Disney Imagineering and Atari Games.

Members of the media will have the opportunity to meet with and ask questions of King and Hanson following the 8 p.m. lecture.