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Thursday, March 28, 2019


Co-op student creates "bot-tender" on his first work term

An overhead view of a bartender robot pouring a drink.

By Jillian Smith.

Caleb Dueck, a first work-term co-op student in mechatronics engineering, created not one, but two robot bartenders while working at Eascan Automation in Winnipeg. The pair of robots, one for pouring and one for serving, can pour a perfect pint in just a minute and a half.

Eascan Automation partnered with a local brewery where the “bot-tenders” made their first public appearance last month. Dueck spent hours programming the robots before the launch and said “I was so pleased to see how many people took videos and enjoyed using the robot. What I enjoyed most is when co-workers were impressed. It made me proud of the hard work I had put in.”

Caleb Dueck, his co-workers, and a robot bartender.

Caleb Dueck (at left), his coworkers, and one of the robot bartenders.

When searching for his first co-op job, Dueck reached out to many companies in Winnipeg before securing a job at Eascan Automation. “Though I had to wait longer than I would've liked for this job, I'm very glad that I did. I have learned so much about industrial automation, the different methods and components that are employed, and how to program collaborative robots and PLC's,” said Dueck. Dueck shared that he feels happy to be a part of the University of Waterloo’s co-op program and to have such an impactful and innovative experience in his first work term.   

Dueck’s contributions to his co-op employer don’t end with the robot bartenders. Dueck said, “My next large project is to make a cart that has all the necessary electronic components necessary to run tests on in-house projects. Today I'm off to help at a milk bottling company by programming a servo that will adjust the weight of milk put in.”

Dueck is looking to have a future career in product development, where he can continue to use the skills he has learned at Waterloo and on his co-op work term to help make more physical system designs.

Learn more about Eascan Automation.

University publishes salary disclosure list for 2018

The University of Waterloo has released a list of the 1,556 employees who were paid more than $100,000 in 2018.

Public-sector employers in Ontario are required to publish the list every March since the Public Sector Salary Disclosure Act was passed in 1996. Other universities, school boards, hospitals, colleges, municipalities, and the government itself are making similar information for last year public this week.

The $100,000 list includes most of Waterloo's professors, and a number of staff members and senior administrators. It includes people employed by Renison University College, Conrad Grebel University College and St. Paul's University College as well as by the University of Waterloo itself.

In addition to the salary, a figure is given for taxable benefits received by each individual, for such extras as employer-paid life insurance.

Last year's salary disclosure is also available online.

On April 8, discover The Nature of Experiment

The Nature of Experiment banner featuring flasks filled with plant life.

In the era of AI and bioengineering, understanding the human implications of experiment is crucial. How is social media feeding into new forms of “intelligence”? What are the philosophical grounds of experimentation?

Join the Waterloo Centre for German Studies at The Nature of Experiment: Intelligence, Life, and the Human, a full-day interdisciplinary workshop featuring keynote speaker Jocelyn Holland from Caltech and speakers from Waterloo on Monday, April 8. Professor Holland will discuss dimensionality and virtuality in the history of thought experiments.

The workshop will approach the intersections of intelligence, life, and the human from a unique perspective, through the concept and practice of the “experiment,” both today and in the past. Mary Shelley’s famous invocation of human experimentation gone wrong, Frankenstein, is more than 200 years old, but remains a vibrant analysis of the human implication of scientific insight.

Please register to attend.

Thursday's notes, this time for sure

Get fit over your lunch break with free Boot Camps. Local certified fitness instructor Tiny n Tuff Fitness is back and will be holding free, lunchtime boot camp sessions for Waterloo staff. All fitness levels are welcome. These sessions will be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12:15 to 12:45 p.m. from April to October.

Space is limited so please register on Eventbrite. This project is funded by the Staff Excellence fund, administered by the Provost’s Advisory Committee on Staff Compensation.

Here's the penultimate Nutrition Month "myth vs. fact" supplied by Health Services Dietitian Sandra Ace:

Claim:  Most people benefit from taking a multivitamin supplement.

Evidence:  While about a third of Canadian adults take a multivitamin at least some of the time, there’s  no evidence to show that they are any more or less healthy than those who don’t take a supplement. A multivitamin supplement can’t replace the benefits of eating a variety of foods recommended by Canada’s Food Guide, which is planned to provide over 50 nutrients needed for good health. You don’t get energy from taking a supplement but you do get energy (measured as calories) from eating foods, which contain carbohydrates, proteins and fats. When you eat nutritious foods, you get vitamins and minerals as well as other vital components like fibre, phytonutrients and essential fatty acids that are not provided by a multivitamin. It is likely that the complex interaction of all of these food components contribute to good health.

While it’s not harmful to take a multivitamin, be realistic that it doesn’t make up for a poor diet.

For some groups of people, specific supplements may be recommended to help them meet their nutrient needs, including women who could become or who are pregnant, adults over 50, vegetarians or people with certain medical conditions such as anemia or osteoporosis. Self-diagnosing your need for anything more potent than a multivitamin is not recommended; taking large doses of some vitamins or minerals can be harmful. It’s always a good idea to talk to your healthcare provider or a registered dietitian if you have question about supplements.

Link of the day

50 years ago: Opération McGill

When and where

CCA Presents: Reddit Ask-Me-Anything: Careers in the Craft Beer Industry, Monday, March 25 to Thursday, March 28, r/uwaterloo.

Software Engineering Capstone Design Symposium, Thursday, March 28, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Davis Centre.

CBB lecture: Making a Case for Multi-energy X-ray Detectors with Dr. Karim Karim, Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering; CTO, KA Imaging, Thursday, March 28, 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. This event is only open to faculty, students and post docs. Please register.

Public Lecture featuring Dr. Scott Ventureyra, “God, Consciousness, and Evolution: A Lecture on the Origin of Consciousness,” Thursday, March 28, 3:30 p.m., St. Jerome’s University, SJ1 3014.

EDGE – Skill Identification and Articulation, Thursday, March 28, 5:00 p.m., TC 2218.

WCGS Book Prize 2017 Winner – Alice Weinreb, author of Modern Hungers, Thursday, March 28, 7:00 p.m., Conrad Grebel College Chapel.

Keeping the Human in Artificial Intelligence – expert panel in Cambridge, Thursday, March 28, 7:00 p.m., School of Architecture, Idea Exchange. Please register.

IT Seminar: Autonomoose, Friday, March 29, 9:00 a.m. to 9:45 a.m., EC5 1111.

Continuous Improvement Workshop for employees, Friday, March 29, 10:00 a.m., STC 0050.

Climate and Energy Action Plan Open HouseFriday, March 29, 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., Dana Porter lobby.

Career – Focused Workshop for Graduating Students, Friday, March 29, 1:00 p.m., TC 1112.

Knowledge Integration seminar: “Unlearning for Transformational Change”, speaker: Chryssa Koulis, School for Social Entrepreneurs, Friday, March 29, 2:30 p.m., EV3-1408. 

An Evening with Jaron Lanier on the "Socio-Cultural and Political Implications of Artificial Intelligence", Friday, March 29, 7:00 p.m., CIGI Auditorium.

Grebel's Student Council Presents: Beauty and the Beast, Friday, March 29 and Saturday, March 30 7:00 p.m., Conrad Centre for the Performing Arts, Kitchener.

Accounting and Finance Student's Association tax clinic, Saturday, March 30 and Sunday, March 31, 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., STC 1012.

Grebel's Student Council Presents: Beauty and the Beast, Saturday, March 30 and Sunday, March 31, 1:00 p.m., Conrad Centre for the Performing Arts, Kitchener.

Jazz Ensemble Concert, Sunday, March 31, 2:00 p.m., Conrad Grebel Great Hall.

Instrumental Chamber Ensemble Concert, Sunday, March 31, 7:30 p.m., Conrad Grebel University Chapel.

Computer science seminar, ShallowForest: Optimizing all-to-all data transmission in WANs, Hao Tan, David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science, Monday, April 1, 4:00 p.m., DC 2585.

Coping Skills Seminar - Challenging Thinking, Monday, April 1, 4:00 p.m., HS 2302.

WaterTalk: Use of quantitative resilience in managing urban infrastructure response to natural hazards, delivered by Prof. Slobodan Simonovic, Tuesday, April 2, 11:00 a.m., DC 1302.

Campus Access: Rights and Resources, Tuesday, April 2, 1:30 p.m., NH 1403.

Board of Governors meeting, Tuesday, April 2, 1:30 p.m., NH 3407.

Stratford Campus Project Showcase, Tuesday, April 2, 4:00 p.m., Stratford School of Interaction Design and Business.

MMI Simulation, Tuesday, April 2, 5:30 p.m., TC 1214.

Global Engagement Seminar Program Summit on the "Socio-Cultural and Political Implications of Artificial Intelligence", Wednesday, April 3 and Thursday, April 4, Balsillie School of International Affairs.

Research Ethics drop-in training session, Wednesday, April 3, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., Dana Porter Library.

Webinar: Copyright and Your Thesis, Wednesday, April 3, 10:30 a.m.

Co-op Tool UX Testing, Wednesday, April 3, 12:30 p.m., TC 1112.

Communication Speaks! Colloquium featuring Shana McDonald and David Janzen, Wednesday, April 3, 1:00 p.m., EV2 2002.

Balinese Gamelan Ensemble Concert, Wednesday, April 3, 7:30 p.m., Humanities Theatre.

Waterloo Institute for Complexity and Innovation’s WICI Complex Systems Student Project Symposium, Thursday, April 4, 12:00 p.m., SNC 0801.

“Sulphur Water” and the Legacy Gas Wells of Southwestern Ontario, delivered by Prof. Maurice Dusseault and Richard Jackson, Thursday, April 4, 2:30 p.m., QNC 1501.

NEW - FINE / CS 383 Computational Digital Art Capstone Exhibition, Wednesday, April 3, 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., Communitech, 151 Charles Street West, Kitchener.

Turn Your Research Into a Startup, "A panel of previous graduate students discussing how they were able to monetize their research and enter the startup world," Thursday, April 4, 4:30 p.m., QNC 0101.

German and Austrian Masterpieces: orchestra@uwaterloo, Thursday, April 4, 7:30 p.m., Humanities Theatre.

Office of Human Rights, Equity, and Inclusion presents Ela Smith, “You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know” Part One, Friday April 5, 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., GSC 1151.