The first ever UK Robotics Week

26th April 2016
Source: EPSRC
Posted By : Nat Bowers
The first ever UK Robotics Week

UK robotics innovation is taking centre stage this summer, with the announcement of a nationwide programme of exciting events for the first ever UK Robotics Week from 25th June to 1st July 2016. Events for people of all ages are being held up and down the country, spanning public lectures, open labs, schools, academic competitions, hackathons, tech weekends for children and cutting-edge robotics showcases.

The build-up to UK Robotics Week will be kicking off at the Imperial Festival 2016 on Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th May 2016 at Imperial College London. The festival, which is free to attend and open to all ages, will include opportunities to take part in robotics activities, including the 'design a robot bug' and autonomous driving challenges.

Four challenges are at the core of UK Robotics Week. The competitions are aimed at pushing the boundaries of what is possible with robotic technology:

  • School Robot Challenge 2016 – open to all UK schoolchildren and students aged 4 years old to 18+. Design a robot bug, make it 3D and teach it to move using free software that has been created specifically for the challenge.
  • Autonomous Driving Challenge 2016 – open to everyone. Design your own vehicle and teach it how to drive in this fun, quick and easy to enter competition that will introduce you to 3D design, coding and autonomous driving.
  • Surgical Robot Challenge 2016 and Field Robotics Challenge 2016 – international competitions aimed at postgraduate students and researchers from academia and industry.

UK Robotics Week, to be held annually during the last week of June, is a unique opportunity to learn about the current state-of-the-art robotic technology, discuss the role of robots and artificial intelligence in our lives, and to inspire next-gen designers and engineers. Public lectures will include The Ethical Roboticist, a discussion on the role of robotics in society, to be held at the University of Liverpool on Monday 27th June.

Three major conferences will be held during UK Robotics Week, attracting leading researchers and pioneers in robotics and autonomous systems from around the world:

  • The Hamlyn Symposium for Medical Robotics (June 25 – 28, London) – an international forum for surgeons and engineers to discuss the latest advances in surgical and medical robotics.
  • TAROS 2016 (June 28 - 30, Sheffield) – TAROS (Towards Autonomous Robotic Systems) conference, now in its 17th year, covers a wide range of robotics and autonomous systems technologies.
  • Eurohaptics 2016 (July 4-7, London) – major international conference on haptics and touch-enabled computer applications. The primary European meeting for researchers in the field.

UK Robotics Week will culminate in the celebration International Showcase event in London on Friday 1st July. This grand finale event will bring together the latest research from the UK and from around the world, offering talks and demonstrations from leading robotics nations including the UK, Japan, US, South Korea, China, Italy, Switzerland and UAE. The event will also include the awards ceremony for the four robotics challenges, plus the launch of two brand new robotics and autonomous systems white papers.

Visit the UK Robotics Week website for more info.

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