News release

Date: 19th April 2016

Get ready for robotics: key public events announced for first ever UK Robotics Week – 25 June to 1 July 2016

Opportunities for all ages, nationwide – including public lectures, open labs, hackathons, challenges, and state-of-the-art robotics showcase

London, UK, 19th April 2016.London, United Kingdom, 19th April 2016 – Get ready for robotics: 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 (25 June – 1 July 2016).   Events for people of all ages are being held up and down the country, spanning public lectures, open labs, schools and 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 May 7th and Sunday May 8th 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 – competitions 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 specially created 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 the next generation of 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, and 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, United States, South Korea, China, Italy, Switzerland and United Arab Emirates. 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.

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

Members of the media interested in attending, filming or photographing any of the activities being held, or in scheduling an interview with a UK Robotics Week spokesperson or robotics expert, should contact
Ends –

Notes for media
Timeline of some of the key UK Robotics Week events:

June 3rd – 19th 2016: IET Educational Robotics Hackathon for schools, academia and industry, London
June 7th – 12th 2016:  UK Robotics Week activities and challenges at The Times Cheltenham Science Festival, Gloucestershire
June 22nd 2016: FIRST® LEGO® League Jr., Loughborough
June 25th – July 1st 2016: First ever UK Robotics Week – core week
June 25th 2016: Surgical Robot Challenge, Imperial College London
June 25th 2016:  Robotics Open Day, University of Leeds
June 25th 2016: Open days: Robotics and Festival of Stuff, UCL, London
June 25th – 26th 2016: London Tech Weekend, hands-on activity for children, London
June 25th – June 28th 2016:  Hamlyn Symposium on Medical Robotics, Royal Geographic Society, London
June 27th 2016: Open day: Robotics at King's College London
June 27th 2016: The Ethical Roboticist public lecture, University of Liverpool
June 28th 2016:  Field Robotics Challenge, Sheffield
June 28th - 30th 2016: Living with Robots, hands-on workshop for students, University of Hertfordshire
June 28th – 30th 2016:  TAROS Conference, University of Sheffield
June 29th 2016: Autonomous Driving Challenge Day, University of Warwick
July 1st 2016: Grand finale event and International Robotics Showcase; awards ceremony for Challenges; launch of two new whitepapers, IET Savoy Place, London
July 1st 2016: Verification and Validation Workshop, University of Sheffield
July 4th – 7th 2016: Eurohaptics, Imperial College London

UK Robotics Week is supported by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), The Royal Academy of Engineering, IET, and the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.

About the EPSRC UK-RAS Network ( :  
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) and partner universities across the country.

Nicky Denovan
Email: nicky[@]evokedset[dot]com


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