The EPSRC UK Robotics and Autonomous Systems (UK-RAS) Network is excited to invite robot fans in the UK and beyond to attend this year’s UK Festival of Robotics, returning from 17–23 June 2023. This unique seven-day programme of events will showcase state-of-the-art UK innovation in robotics and autonomous machines. Aimed at engaging, inspiring, and informing people of all ages, the free-to-attend events and activities feature family workshops, robot livestreams, careers discussions, and exclusive public open days covering all things robotic!
Highlight events of the week include:
- Saturday 17th & Sunday 18th June (12:00-18:00, Imperial College London): Build a Robot workshop – in this creative workshop for all ages, design and build your own model mechanoid, recycled robot or cardboard drone that could make the world a better place.
- Saturday 17th June (10:00-16:00, Aberystwyth promenade): Beach Lab – head down to Aberystwyth bandstand for a unique showcase of robotics research and outreach activities and a chance to try driving a robot around.
- Sunday 18th June (13:00-13:55, Imperial College London): Robot Talk Live – join the audience for a live recording of the Robot Talk Podcast to explore how much science fiction influences how we see the future of robotics – for good and for bad.
- Tuesday 20th June (4-5.30pm, YouTube): How do I start a career in robotics? – A virtual careers panel discussion, livestreamed on the UK-RAS Network’s YouTube and Twitch channels, offers UK GCSE and A-level students and anyone looking to pursue a career in robotics a unique opportunity to pose career questions to an expert panel from industry and academia.
- Wednesday 21st June (16:00-18:00, YouTube): Robot Lab Live – a one-of-a-kind virtual robotics showcase, livestreamed on the UK-RAS Network’s YouTube channel, invites viewers into eight of the UK’s top robotics labs.
- Thursday 22nd June (online): School Robot Competition winners’ announcement – follow our social media channels to find out the winners of the 2023 Draw a Robot design and Once Upon a Robot story competitions for 5 – 11-year-olds.
Other events being held during the week include a behind-the-scenes tour of a robotics research facility in Oxford, challenges and programming hackathons for school children, and interactive exhibits.
Researchers from Imperial College London and the Royal College of Art will be sharing their cutting-edge research in the Smart Machines Zone at the Great Exhibition Road Festival (Queens Tower Rooms, Imperial College London; Saturday 17th & Sunday 18th June, 12:00-18:00), featuring remarkable innovations from nanoscale engineering to space exploration. Explore how humans and machines will interact in the cities of the future; discover intelligent wheelchair technologies, learn about robotic manipulators, and find out how machine learning is being applied to society’s most pressing challenges.
The UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) will be opening the doors of their world-leading robotics division RACE (Remote Applications in Challenging Environments), exclusively for the UK Festival of Robotics (Culham Science Centre, Abingdon, Saturday 17th June, 11:00–17:00). Visitors will get to tour the robotics facility and hear from engineers and researchers about how the UK is leading the way in developing robots which will be vital in delivering safe, clean, sustainable fusion energy. A few lucky visitors may even get the chance to control one of the robots!
Aberystwyth University’s Intelligent Robotics Group will be returning with its annual Aber Robotics Week as part of the UK Festival of Robotics, offering events including the Beach Lab public robot showcase at the Aberystwyth bandstand (17th June), and the return of Robot Olympics, with school teams competing in a series of challenges throughout the week.
The University of Hertfordshire will be offering a Crash Course in Robotics for Hatfield Community Free School students (20-23 June), giving the school’s 7 – 11-year-olds hands-on experience of programming robots and the chance to learn more about how they are built and what they can be used for.
EPSRC UK-RAS Network Chair, Professor Robert Richardson says: “We are thrilled to share this year’s programme of Festival events, which offer an amazing variety of ways to interact with robots and learn more about state-of-the-art technology, for people of all ages, across the UK and beyond.”
The UK Festival of Robotics is a seven-day celebration of robotics and intelligent systems held each year at the end of June. This annual celebration is hosted by the EPSRC UK-RAS Network, which provides academic leadership in robotics and coordinates activities at over 30 partner universities across the UK.
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