GoldieBlox teamed up with the If/Then Initiative to bring you the YouTube series Fast Forward Girls. The show follows the journey of young women as they learn about STEM in the real world by immersing themselves in it with the help of leading female innovators. In the Fast Forward Girls Spotlight, we take a moment to get to know those innovators a little bit better.
Catie Cuan started dancing when she was three years old, but there’s no way that she could have ever imagined that she would become a robot choreographer. Or that she would one day deliver a TED Talk called “Teaching Robots How to Dance.” In 2014, when Catie saw her father get sick and be surrounded by machines, she thought about how there could be a multitude of applications of robotic technologies that not many people are exploring. She began working with robots and dance when she was about 24 and it’s been her full-time job ever since!
Catie is inspired by robots that can do things in our daily lives. Her first class at Stanford University was a coding course, and she started out very frustrated as it was challenging to grasp the concepts. But by the end of the year, she realized that she could apply all of the tools she had been learning to program robots with the coding language.
After graduating, she began to program robots for performances and dances, and she started doing research on how audiences feel about and react to robots. Watch this spotlight to find out what she learned and other ways that robots can be used, and don’t forget to tune in to Fast Forward Girls: Nicole Laeno Dances with Robots to see her work in action!
This spotlight was filmed by Litton Entertainment in collaboration with the If/Then Initiative during filming for “Mission Unstoppable” on CBS.