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UK Robotics Week finds formula for success

18 July 2016

During a week that saw the outcome of the EU referendum take centre stage, there was still excitement about the events of the UK’s first Robotics Week.

Image courtesy of EPSRC

The week proved to be a great success attracting widespread coverage in the national, international and specialist media and engaging thousands of people with the science and issues surrounding the field of robotics.

Activities during the week included a series of challenges aimed at schools, academics and industry.

• School Robot Challenge 2016 was open to all UK schoolchildren and students aged four years old to 18+. The challenge was to design a robot bug, make it 3D and teach it to move using free software that has been specially created for the challenge. Over 50 schools took part and the aim is for double that number next year.
• The Autonomous Driving Challenge 2016 was open to everyone. The task, to design a vehicle and teach it how to drive as a fun introduction to 3D design, coding and autonomous driving.
• Surgical Robot Challenge 2016 and Field Robotics Challenge 2016 saw teams of postgraduate students and researchers from academia and industry from across the globe compete for a cash prizes and demonstrate their world-leading innovations.

Another highlight was Formula 1 star Kimi Raikkonen being among the passengers trying out the 'Autonomous Urban Concept Vehicle' which is equipped with cutting-edge software developed by Oxford University's Mobile Robotics Group.

The group unveiled the Selenium mobile autonomy system it is developing as part of this year's Shell Eco-marathon Europe which included a special showcase of autonomous technology.

The Eco-marathon took place as part of "Make the Future London" from 30 June to 03 July, a unique competition that challenged students around the world to design, build and drive the most energy-efficient car.


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