UK Robotics Week finds formula for success

Supplementary content information

Photo of Formula 1 driver Kimi Raikkonen in 'Autonomous UrbanConcept Vehicle'

During a week that saw the outcome of the EU referendum and many big political stories take centre stage, there was still sufficient excitement about the events of  the UK’s first Robotics Week (June 26 - July 01 2016) to warrant attention from print and broadcast journalists. 

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 world-leading Mobile Robotics Group.

The group unveiled the Selenium mobile autonomy system it is developing as part at 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.

Notes for Editors:

About the EPSRC UK-RAS Network

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

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)

As the main funding agency for engineering and physical sciences research, our vision is for the UK to be the best place in the world to Research, Discover and Innovate.

By investing £800 million a year in research and postgraduate training, we are building the knowledge and skills base needed to address the scientific and technological challenges facing the nation. Our portfolio covers a vast range of fields from healthcare technologies to structural engineering, manufacturing to mathematics, advanced materials to chemistry. The research we fund has impact across all sectors. It provides a platform for future economic development in the UK and improvements for everyone’s health, lifestyle and culture.

We work collectively with our partners and other Research Councils on issues of common concern via UK Research and Innovation.

Reference: PN 41-16

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Name: EPSRC Press Office
Telephone: 01793 444404