Nationwide programme of events announced for UK Robotics Week 2017

Supplementary content information

Formula 1 star Kimi Raikkonen trying out the University of Oxford Mobile Robotics Group's Autonomous Urban Concept Vehicle in 2016

Formula 1 star Kimi Raikkonen trying out the University of Oxford Mobile Robotics Group's Autonomous Urban Concept Vehicle in 2016

Challenges in extreme environments and surgical robots, film premieres and flying exhibitions have been announced as part of the second UK Robotics Week.

The expanded nationwide programme of events will showcase the UK’s role at the heart of robotics innovation from 24 to 30 June, and will build on the success of the inaugural UK Robotics Week in 2016. The UK’s first Robotics Week proved to be an instant success, with major interest in activities including the demonstration of autonomous vehicle technology.

Organised by the EPSRC UK Robotics and Autonomous Systems Network (UK-RAS Network) and supported by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), The Royal Academy of Engineering, IET and the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, UK Robotics Week 2017 will feature exclusive open days, public lectures, film premieres competitions and cutting-edge demonstrations and exhibitions.

The Science Museum Lates Exhibition: Robots, will take place on 28 June and feature a unique collection of more than 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, University of Southampton). Find out more information on the Extreme Environments Challenge 2017.

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, Royal Geographical Society). Find out more information on the Surgical Robot Challenge 2017.

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 and 28 June, Leeds University). Find out more information on the Robots for Resilient Infrastructure Challenge 2017.

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, Bristol Robotics Laboratory, Sheffield Robotics, and Edinburgh Centre for Robotics. Find out more information on the Social Care Robot Challenge 2017.

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 28 May. Winners will be invited to the UK Robotics Week Showcase Event. Find out more information on the School Robot Challenge 2017.

The UK Robotics Week will conclude with a Grand Finale International Robotics Showcase event at the IET, Savoy Place, London, on Friday, 30 June. 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 and Machine Learning; Resilient Infrastructure and Social Care Robotics. Registration for this event will be announced next month.

Timeline of some of the key UK Robotics Week 2017 events:

6-7 May Imperial Festival, Imperial College London
16 May ‘3D Printing What’s Next?’, University of Bath
26 May School Robot Challenge – deadline for entries
19-20 June The Unmanned Aircraft Systems Challenge
24-30 June UK Robotics Week – core week
24 June Surgical Robot Challenge, Imperial College London
25-28 June Hamlyn Symposium, Imperial College London
26 June University of Southampton Autonomous Systems Film Premiere and Flying Exhibition, University of Southampton
27-28 June Robots for Resilient Infrastructure Challenge, University of Leeds
28 June Robots At The Movies, Loughborough University
30 June Grand Finale of UK Robotics Week – International Robotics Showcase Event, IET, London
30 June Social Care Robot Challenge, IET, Savoy Place, London
3-9 July Royal Society Summer Exhibition, Royal Society, London
19-21 July TAROS, University of Surrey, Guildford

Reference: PN 29-17