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UK Robotics Week returns: key public events announced!

07 April 2017

The robotics program has expanded for 2017 – from “Robots At The Movies” and 3D Printing to Social Care, Extreme Environments and Robots and the Law.

The UK’s role at the heart of robotics innovation will be shared again with the public this summer with the return of UK Robotics Week, encompassing an expanded nationwide program of events for this week-long celebration (24th – 30th June 2017).  

Building on the huge success of last year’s inaugural event, UK Robotics Week 2017 offers activities for people of all ages up and down the country, from exclusive open days and public lectures (such as “A Fatal Attraction?” with Professor Kerstin Dautenhahn, Monday 19 June 2017, 18:00, University of Liverpool), to film premieres, competitions, cutting-edge robotics demonstrations and exhibitions. A key highlight will be the Science Museum Lates Exhibition: Robots (Wednesday 28 June 2017, 18:45), which will feature a unique collection of over 100 robots, from a 16th-century mechanical monk to robots from science fiction and modern-day research labs.

Five areas are central to this year’s UK Robotics Week, aimed at driving creative solutions, inspiring tomorrow’s technologists and pushing the boundaries of robotics and autonomous systems innovation.

Film premiere: Extreme Environments Challenge 2017 – a film on emergency and disaster response, showcasing robotics and autonomous systems research in this area. The film offers an exciting look at the range and scale of robotics activity in the UK and will showcase both current and future potential impact. Everyone welcome, especially younger people (26 June 2017, University of Southampton).

Competition: Surgical Robot Challenge 2017 – finalists of this compelling contest will be conducting live demonstrations of their submissions, showcasing their latest surgical innovations from around the world. The audience and panel will be the first to view these new concepts, many of which are focused on affordable systems and potential for the developing world. (25 June 2017, Royal Geographical Society).

Competition: Robots for Resilient Infrastructure Challenge 2017 – a two-day event featuring live robot demonstration by the competition finalists. With a range of air and ground robots, the event will bring together academics, industry, policy makers and stakeholders to explore future use of robots in the creation, inspection, repair and maintenance of critical infrastructure. (27 &  28 June 2017, Leeds University).

Collaboration: Social Care Robot Challenge 2017 – demonstrations in "home lab" facilities will be held across the UK. Using the Pepper robot, a social care scenario will be used as the platform to showcase the latest developments in social care technologies and demonstrate future potential in healthcare services. The scenario will be demonstrated at three sites during UK Robotics Week (26 - 28 June 2017, Bristol Robotics Laboratory, Sheffield Robotics, and ERC).

Competition: School Robot Challenge 2017 – this competition aimed at inspiring schoolchildren provides a compelling introduction to computer-aided and bio-inspired design, with the opportunity to create a virtual robot bug and teach it to move. The competition is open to all schoolchildren and students in the UK. Deadline for entries is 28th May 2017. Winners will be invited to the UK Robotics Week Showcase Event. 

The UK Robotics Week will conclude with a Grand Finale International Robotics Showcase event at the IET, Savoy Place, London, on Friday 30 June 2017. This celebration finale will host global leaders in robotics research, and include presentations from key international robotics and autonomous systems developers (academic and industry) as well as robotics demonstrations, keynote lectures, panel discussions and film premieres. 

The event will also include an awards ceremony for the challenge winners and the launch of four new white papers on Extreme Environments; Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning; Resilient Infrastructure and Social Care Robotics. Registration for this event will be announced next month.

For full information about all the activities planned for UK Robotics Week, please visit the website: and follow UK Robotics Week on Twitter (@UKRobotics, #UKRW17).

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