Knight Foundation Awards Dr. Madeline Gannon’s “Open-Source Toolkit for Creative Robotics” Project


The FIU School of Architecture is proud to announce that Dr. Madeline Gannon, Researcher and Artist in Residence at the Robotics and Digital Fabrication Lab (RDF), has been awarded $92,000 by the Knight Foundation for her project “Open-Source Toolkit for Creative Robotics.”

Dr. Gannon’s project is designed to make robotics more accessible and relevant to the broader society through their incorporation into an art-based initiative to be exhibited at the FIU School of Architecture Miami Beach Urban Studios. Dr. Gannon believes that a stronger, more diverse collective imagination can better guide the future of robotic technology.

Dr. Gannon is a returning alumnus of the Architecture program who has been residing at the RDF Lab this past year. When asked about this accomplishment, Dr. Gannon said, “I’m beyond thrilled to be a recipient of the 2022 Knight Foundation New Work Award — and to be doing this work back home at FIU. Knight Foundation is enabling me to develop cutting-edge software tools that make creative robotics more open to artists, designers, and architects. I’m honored to be developing this work while in residence at FIU RDF Lab and to then exhibit it at FIU MBUS later in 2024. I’m grateful to my alma mater for its continued support, and I look forward to sharing my knowledge — and my journey — with the next generation of creative minds at FIU.

Faculty members at the RDF Lab are extremely excited about this award-winning project, the recognition it will bring to the lab, and the new avenues of robotic research that Dr. Gannon will initiate as a result of this grant.

The Knight Foundation’s Knight New Work 2022 was launched as a call for proposals that will provide up to $500,000 to support South Florida-area artists of all genres who use technology in their practice to create, disseminate and enhance the way art is experienced. 

The Robotics and Digital Fabrication Laboratory (RDF) is a state-of-the-art facility with robotic arms, 3D scanners, laser cutters, programmable objects, and 3D printers. The lab offers unique technology solutions for design, testing, prototyping, and fabrication. RDF is an extension of FIU’s Integrated Computer Augmented Virtual Environment (I-CAVE), which is a fully immersive and interactive facility. These facilities are designed to support diverse and innovative ways of using high-end visualization equipment for digital fabrication as well as advancing fabrication tools and methods with immersive technologies.

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