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Get Ready for UK Festival of Robotics 2022 (18th-24th June): join the conversation as UK robotics labs open doors to the public

Register now for free-to-attend live and virtual events aimed at engaging and inspiring people of all ages with an interest in robotics innovation and its impact on our lives

London, United Kingdom, May 26th 2022—The EPSRC UK Robotics and Autonomous Systems (UK-RAS) Network is gearing up for this year’s UK Festival of Robotics, which returns from 18th – 24th June 2022 with a specially-convened programme of events to showcase the very best of UK innovation in robotics and autonomous systems. Aimed at engaging, inspiring and informing people of all ages, the free-to-attend event programme spans robot lab livestreams, careers discussions, and exclusive public open days – covering topics ranging from self-driving cars and driverless trains, to space robots, smart drones, robotics for extreme environments and much more.

Highlight events of the week include:

  • Monday 20th June (12.30-1.30pm, Zoom): Robot Talk Live – an exclusive live Zoom edition of the EPSRC UK-RAS Network’s popular podcast, featuring special guest interviewees and conversations with the UK’s top roboticists.
  • Tuesday 21st June (online): School Robot Competition winners’ announcement – follow our social media channels to learn the winners of the 2022 Draw a Robot design and Once Upon a Robot story competitions for 5 – 11-year-olds.
  • Wednesday 22nd June (4-6pm, YouTube): Robot Lab Live – a one-of-a-kind virtual robotics showcase, livestreamed on the EPSRC UK-RAS Network’s YouTube channel, taking viewers directly into 12 of the UK’s top robotics labs (watch the trailer now: http://www.youtube.com/ukrobotics)
  • Thursday 23rd June (4-5.30pm, online, Zoom): How do I start a career in robotics?  An online careers panel discussion aimed at UK GCSE and A-level students, and anyone looking to pursue a career in robotics and autonomous systems. This is a unique opportunity to pose your career questions to our expert panellists from industry and academia.

Other events being held during the week include an exhibition on driverless vehicles and the future of public transport at the Innovation Platform at the National Railway Museum, with expert tours hosted by University of York researchers and NRM curators (Saturday 18th June, 11am and 1pm).

The UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) will be opening its doors to the public for the first time at RACE, its world-class centre for robotics and remote systems that work in a variety of challenging environments. During engineer-led tours, visitors will be able to explore Europe’s broadest collection of robotics systems and will learn how they will be used to help progress fusion energy as a safe, low carbon and sustainable part of the world’s future energy supply (Culham Science Centre, Abingdon, Saturday 18th June, 1pm – 5pm).

On Friday 24th June (10am – 5pm), the University of Hertfordshire will be hosting a robot hackathon that will allow students to get hands-on-experience with real kit to design, design, develop and program a real wheeled robot that can complete a navigation challenge. The University is also delivering a Crash Course in Robotics for Hatfield Community Free School students, offering the school’s 7 – 11-year-olds the chance to programme small mobile robots, learn about CAD design and interact with state-of-the-art robotic systems.

Aberystwyth University's Intelligent Robotics Group will also be returning with its annual Aber Robotics Week as part of the UK Festival of Robotics (18th – 24th June 2022), offering events including the BeachLab public robot showcase at the Aberystwyth bandstand (18th June), plus special workshops, activities and crafts.

EPSRC UK-RAS Network Chair Professor Robert Richardson commented: “We are very excited by this year’s programme of Festival events, which deliver in-person, hands-on engagement with state-of-the-art robotics technology in a way that will really benefit this up-and-coming generation of roboticists, plus virtual tours and never-before-seen online showcases that open up learning experiences and access to everyone, wherever they are.”

The UK Festival of Robotics is a 7-day celebration of robotics and intelligent systems held each year at the end of June. This annual celebration is hosted by the EPSRC UK Robotics and Autonomous Systems (UK-RAS) Network, which provides academic leadership in robotics and coordinates activities at over 30 partner universities across the UK.

For more information about the UK Festival of Robotics 2022, please visit: https://www.ukras.org.uk/robotics-week
For more information about Aber Robotics Week 2022, please visit: https://fbaps-outreach-hub.dcs.aber.ac.uk/Events/RoboticsWeek/2022/details.html

Join in the discussion on Twitter: https://twitter.com/ukrobotics

#RobotLabLive #RobotFest #UKFR #AberRoboticsWeek

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Notes to editors:

Upcoming events: UK Festival of Robotics 2022 (18th – 24th June 2022)

The Innovation Platform: Expert Tours
Driverless vehicles and the future of public transport


Assuring Autonomy International Programme – University of York

The exhibition presents an opportunity to consider the impact of driverless vehicles in future public transport by exploring how driverless vehicles identify and categorise objects in the world around them. The exhibit allows visitors to view the world through the lens of the driverless vehicle and see how it identifies and categorises objects around it. It helps give an understanding of the algorithms behind self-driving vehicles. Visitors will stand in the exhibit, which is created to look and feel like the front of a driverless road train. On the screens around them, they will follow the vehicle’s path through the city of York. By pressing a button they will be able to add layers to the film to show how objects and hazards are categorised by the vehicle. Researchers from the AAIP and curators from the NRM will offer two free guided tours (11am and 1pm), discussing the themes of the exhibition and the technology on display. In addition, around the exhibit will be illustrations and films that help to explain more about what we must consider to enable the safe introduction of driverless vehicles.

Where: Innovation Platform at the National Railway Museum, Leeman Rd, York YO26 4XJ
When: Saturday 18th June 11am – 5pm

http://railwaymuseum.org.uk/whats-on

Press contact: Sarah Heathwood sarah.heathwood[at]york[dot]ac[dot]uk

Robots to the Rescue
A showcase of robots going where humans can’t

UKAEA will be opening its doors at RACE, a world-class centre for the use of robotics and remote systems to work in a variety of challenging environments. The event will showcase how RACE is focused on developing robotics for maintaining future fusion energy powerplants, an environmentally responsible approach to energy for generations to come. Members of the public will see a variety of robots being used to make fusion energy viable along with Europe’s largest robots used for artificial intelligence (AI) development; SPOT, the amazing quadruped robot; and the latest in driverless cars. The event will showcase Europe’s broadest collection of robotics systems and will be the first time UKAEA has opened the doors of RACE to the public. UKAEA carries out fusion energy research on behalf of the UK Government and also hosts the world’s record-breaking and largest fusion energy machine, JET (Joint European Torus), which it operates for scientists from around Europe. 
 

Where: Culham Science Centre, Abingdon, OX14 3DB, UK
When: Saturday 18th June 1pm – 5pm

Pre-registration required: https://ccfe.ukaea.uk/

Press contact: Kelly Lea kelly[dot]ea@ukaea[dot]uk

Robot Talk Live
Robot Talk podcast is going LIVE! This is your opportunity to join the audience for a virtual recording of the ninth episode of Robot Talk - the final episode of our second series – and ask your questions to our guests live on Zoom. Podcast presenter Dr Claire Asher will be talking to fascinating roboticists whose research brings robotics into the home.

Where: Online (Zoom)
When: Monday 20th June 12.30 – 1.30pm

Register for free tickets: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/325690317507

School Robot Competitions Winners’ Announcement
On Tuesday 21st June we will be celebrating the budding artists and authors that have won this year’s Draw a Robot design competition and Once Upon a Robot story writing competitions, judging by robotics experts from our Network plus very special guest judges author Radiya Hafiza and author and illustrator Chris Haughton. Watch our Twitter channel for the official announcement!

Robot Lab Live
Following on from the success of the UK’s first ever mass simultaneous robotics live stream last year, Robot Lab Live will be returning this June!

Where: EPSRC UK-RAS Network YouTube channel (http://www.youtube.com/ukrobotics)
When: Wednesday 22nd June 4pm – 6pm

More info: https://www.ukras.org.uk/robotics-week/robot-lab-live/

How do I start a career in robotics?
Are you thinking about a career in robotics or artificially intelligent systems, but unsure where to start?  Join our online careers panel discussion — chaired by Richard Waterstone, joint-lead of the Skills and Education in Robotics and Autonomous Systems (SERAS) programme — and ask your questions to our fantastic panelists, who have each had a different career path into robotics in academia or industry.  This event is particularly aimed at UK GCSE and A-level students, but is relevant for anyone looking to pursue a career in robotics and autonomous systems.

Where: Online (Zoom)
When: Thursday 23rd June 4.00 – 5.30pm

Free tickets: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/how-do-i-start-a-career-in-robotics-tickets-344838821197

Herts Robot Hackathon
University of Hertfordshire

The Herts robot hackathon is the debut of a robotics challenge where participants are provided with a kit to design, develop and program a small, real wheeled robot that can meet a topical challenge. The challenge will consist of navigation and manipulation sub-elements and take place in an outdoor environment. Participants will have the opportunity to explore and develop a robot utilising a range of components giving significant freedom in approaching the challenge and drawing on their own experience. Academic and industry partners will be on hand to provide guidance on the challenges and judge the competition. Prizes will be available. The challenge is aimed at small teams of 3-5 students (undergraduate, A-level and college students).  Individuals are welcome to sign up and will be placed in a team. Places will be limited. Attendees can expect a mixture of both hands-on experience developing and using robot systems and the opportunity to attend a number of keynote talks by BEng Robotics and AI team. The kit used has been carefully designed to allow student to get hands-on with limited experience (no soldering required).

Where: Department of Engineering, College Lane campus, Hatfield, Hertfordshire, AL10 9AB
When: Friday 24th June 10am – 5pm

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/herts-robot-hackathon-tickets-331184179797

A Crash Course in Robotics
University of Hertfordshire and Hatfield Community Free School

Primary school children aged 7 – 11 attending Hatfield Community Free School will get hands-on robotics experience from University of Hertfordshire researchers during the UK Festival of Robotics 2022. The children will get to experience programming small mobile robots, learn about CAD design and also interact with state-of-the-art robotic systems from the university that will be brought into the school. Each class will spend a full day learning about robotics and will hopefully be inspired to pursue robotics further in the future. Whilst educational, the core objective of this event is to inspire the children!

About the EPSRC UK-RAS Network (https://www.ukras.org.uk)

The EPSRC UK Robotics and Autonomous Systems Network (UK-RAS Network) is dedicated to robotics innovation across the UK, with a mission to provide academic leadership in Robotics and Autonomous Systems (RAS), expand collaboration with industry, and integrate and coordinate activities at eight Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)-funded RAS capital facilities and Centres for Doctoral Training (CDTs) across the country.

PRESS CONTACT:
Nicky Denovan
EvokedSet
Email: nicky[@]evokedset[dot]com
Phone: +44 (0) 118 328 2782

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