News release

Date: 25th May 2021

ANNOUNCING: UK Festival of Robotics 2021 - New 7-day public celebration of all things robotic from 19–25 June

Week-long programme of interactive games, exciting competitions and unique virtual lab tours set to boost public interest in robotics and intelligent systems



London, United Kingdom, May 25 2021—The EPSRC UK Robotics & Autonomous Systems (UK-RAS Network) today announces the inaugural programme for the UK Festival of Robotics – a brand new 7-day celebration set to boost public engagement in robotics and intelligent systems. This exciting week-long programme will run from 19th – 25th June 2021, offering online events, special competitions, and interactive activities for robot enthusiasts of all ages. Full details of all the events and activities on offer throughout the week are available here: https://www.ukras.org/robotics-festival/

Highlight events include:

- Robot Talk Live (18th June, 3pm) – a special live episode of the Robot Talk Podcast. Hosted by Dr Claire Asher and featuring Dr Sophie Armanini (TU Munich/Imperial College London), Matthew Ryan Tucker (University of Bristol) and Ben Scott-Robinson (Small Robot Company), Episode 9 will focus on “Robots into the Wild”.

- MiRo Maze (21st – 25th June) – take control of a MiRo robot and guide it through our maze in this exciting online tournament for robot enthusiasts of all ages! Organised by Cyberselves Ltd, Consequential Robotics and The University of Sheffield.

- CSI Robot (21st / 25th June) – can you piece together the evidence to solve the robot mystery? In this fun, interactive session, participants will take on the role of a robot accident investigator, work together with others and have fun ‘solving’ the case!

- Mosaix with Swarm Robot Tiles (22nd June 4 – 6pm BST) - control a swarm of robot Tiles to make collaborative works of art.

- Robot Lab Live (23rd June 4pm – 6pm BST) – our virtual robotics showcase featuring 16 of the UK’s top robotics research groups. Each team will show-off their cutting-edge robots and autonomous systems simultaneously to live audiences on YouTube.

- Pepper the Robot Goes to School with Autistic Children (24th June 4pm-5pm) – can a friendly social robot support young people with autism? Researchers from UWE present some initial findings from a 3-week study exploring how robots can improve the well-being of children at a Special Education Needs school in Somerset.

The week will incorporate virtual award presentations for the talented winners of our 2021 KS1 ‘Draw A Robot’ design and KS2 ‘Once Upon A Robot’ story writing competitions for school children, plus an award ceremony to congratulate the very worthy winners of our School Robot Competition 2020.

EPSRC UK-RAS Network Chair Robert Richardson remarks: “We are hugely excited to be launching this exceptional festival, which will not only enable the UK public to see inside the labs of the nation’s top robotics research teams for the first time, but also offers really accessible and engaging ways for everyone to get involved and expand their interest in robotics, from competing in online games and challenges to creating collaborative artworks.”

This new annual celebration (which was formerly held as UK Robotics Week) is hosted by the EPSRC UK-RAS Network as part of its mission to provide academic leadership in robotics, coordinating activities at over 30 partner universities across the UK. The EPSRC UK-RAS Network is already underway with its very first Robotics Summer Showcase of cutting-edge robotics research and innovation, which is running from now through to July and is delivering a variety of free-to-register lectures, workshops, demonstrations and events from across the Network.

For more information about the UK Festival of Robotics and the Robotics Summer Showcase, please visit:
https://www.ukras.org/robotics-festival/
https://www.ukras.org/robotics-summer-showcase/

You can follow updates about the events via the hashtags #RobotShowcase and #RobotFest.

----Ends----

Notes to editors

UK Festival of Robotics: 19th – 25th June 2021

Events overview (https://www.ukras.org/robotics-festival/)  

- Robot Talk Live, Fri 18th June 3pm – 4pm (live recording, episode airs Friday 25th June 12pm)
- Tech Tag collaborative online game, Sun 20th June 2pm – 4pm BST & Thu 24th June 5pm – 7pm BST
- MiRo Maze online tournament
First round: Mon 21st – Thu 24th June 1pm – 4pm BST
Finals: Friday 25th June 5pm – 8pm BST
- CSI Robot accident investigator game, Mon 21st June 2pm & 4pm, Friday 25th June 3pm & 5pm
- RoC-Ex: Robotic Cave Explorer online game, intro webinar Mon 21st 5 – 6pm
- Mosaix with Swarm Robot Tiles collaborative art making, Tue 22nd June 4pm
- Draw a Robot Competition 2021 Award Ceremony, Tue 22nd June 11am – 12pm
- Once Upon a Robot Competition 2021 Award Ceremony, Tue 22nd June 2pm – 3pm
- Robot Lab Live virtual robotics showcase, Wed 23rd June 4pm – 6pm
- Pepper the Robot Goes to School with Autistic Children, Thu 24th June 4pm – 5pm
- School Robot Competition 2020 Award Ceremony, Fri 25th June 12pm – 1pm
- See Through The Eyes of a Robot, details to be announced

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

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.

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