Our mission is to support members of the RSS community with children in their lives and enable their increased participation in RSS. RSS is committed to facilitating the participation in the conference by parents and families. We recognize that it can be tough to balance professional travel with kids, and we want to offer families options to make things work.
Caregivers and Children
For families who bring their children along with their own caregiver, Boston is
a wonderful destination for families and kids. Below is a list of suggested
activities that are easily accessible from Kendall Square, the T stop closest
to the conference venue. We are creating a signup for caregivers who wish to be
connected with each other to organize group activities. Caregivers and kids are
welcome at the RSS poster session and are welcome to partake in all the food.
We will also have a lab tour of MIT focused on kids, that will include “hands
on” demos of Baxter and the Aibo robot puppy, that you can sign up for at the
We will have a lunch networking event for parents at RSS, whether or not you are
bringing your kids. Anyone who has an interest in kids and robotics is welcome
Lactation Rooms and Changing Tables
MIT has several lactation rooms available on campus. We are
also providing lactation rooms at Kresge (the conference venue) and the Stata
Center (the workshop venue). Please contact the conference organizers if you
have questions or need additional resources.
Lab Tour and Poster Sessions
On Thursday 7/13 at 5:30pm, we will have a kid-focused lab tour of the MIT Stata
Center immediately before the poster session. Details and sign
up here! Families and caregivers are welcome to attend both poster
sessions and enjoy the food. We will have a kid’s table with robotics-focused
activities for kids of different ages, including a very special sneak preview of
Barefoot Books’ upcoming title, “My Friend Robot.”
We have created an opt-in mailing list for caregivers who are attending RSS with
children to coordinate on robotics activities. Sign up here
for this discussion list. We also created an announcement list; sign
up here. Use the discussion list to coordinate activities
with other RSS attendees who are traveling with their kids!
Stefanie Tellex, Brown University
Cynthia Matuszek, University of Maryland, Baltimore County
Maya Cakmak, University of Washington
Hadas Kress-Gazit, Cornell University
Matt Walter, Toyota Technological Institute at Chicago
Activities for caregivers and kids
Boston is a great place to explore with young children. Below are some of our
favorite activities that are accessible from the Red Line (the closest T-stop to
- Frog Pond. Boston Common is accessible from the Red Line. Get on
the Kendall Square T-stop going outbound and get off at Park Street. The Frog
Pond is a short walk from the T stop on Boston common. It’s a giant shallow
pond that kids can swim in. There is also a playground and splash pad next to
it, and a carousel. Bring a bathing suit!
- The Greenway. The Greenway is a park that was created as a
result of the Big Dig, which buried the I-93 expressway. It is a linear park
that goes through downtown Boston. There are lots of fountains for water play,
including a very large one near the New England Aquarium. You can get on it by
getting off the Red Line at Downtown Crossing and then walking. Our favorite
activity is to walk along the Greenway in our bathing suits, fountain-hopping
all the way. There is also a carousel with animals drawn from Massachusetts
native wildlife. (Ride on a lobster or a redtail hawk!) You can stop
at Christopher Columbus Park for another splash
pad and a playground, as well as great views of Boston Harbor.
- Museum of Science. The Museum of Science is a
world-renowned science museum. Right now it has a wonderful exhibit called
“Popnology” which has a great lineup of fictional and real
robots, including robot arms that you can teleoperate to pick up blocks. You
can reach it by taking the shuttle to the Galleria Mall from the Kendall
Square T-stop. The Museum is a short walk from the Galleria. Duck Tours also
pick up here.
- Children’s Museum. The Children’s Museum is located a
short walk from South Station on the Red Line. Among many other things, they
have exhibits featuring Boston roboticists such as the RoboBee project.
- Spectacle Island. The Boston Harbor Islands are accessible
by ferry from a terminal near the New England Aquarium. You can reach the
terminal by getting off at Downtown Crossing or South Station. The ferry ride
to Spectacle Island takes about 30 minutes and is a great and reasonably
priced way to get out on the water. Spectacle Island is our favorite, because
it has bathrooms and a beach with swimming. If you are motivated you can hike
to the top of one of the drumlins for the best kite-flying in Boston. The gift
shop on the island sells soft kites that work great. The island is also a
great place for airplane spotting, and the top of the drumlin has a great view
of Logan Airport and Boston Harbor. Plan on a full day for this one.
- New England Aquarium. The Aquarium is a popular
attraction right on the harbor, featuring penguins, fur seals, and the Giant
Ocean Tank with Myrtle the Green Sea Turtle. You can reach it by walking from
Downtown Crossing or South Station.
- MIT Museum. This is a short walk from the conference venue up
Massachusetts Avenue. The activities are mainly geared toward older kids; the
memorabilia of hacks and the hologram exhibits are very popular.
- Savin Hill Park. This urban park features a playground and
a swimming beach just five minutes from the Red Line Savin Hill stop. You can
reach it from Kendall Square but note that you have to get on the Ashmont line
(not Braintree). Wait for an “Ashmont train.”
If you are looking for activities near the conference venue, Kresge Oval in
front of the main area is a grassy space that is good for running around and
playing. At the Stata Center, there is a green field just outside called
Northcourt. It has a red statue that is fun to climb on. It’s fun to take kids
down the Infinite Corridor on MIT’s main campus, and also to walk along the
Memorial drive path and look at the river.