Blighty gears up for first UK Robotics Week

Plenty lined up for 25 June to 1 July

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The acronymically-abundant UK Robotics and Autonomous Systems Network (UK-RAS Network) tentacle of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) has announced further events which will feature at the first UK Robotics Week from 25 June to 1 July.

As we previously reported, the event is backed by the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Institution of Engineering and Technology, and the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, and is designed to "to shine a spotlight on the UK's technology leadership in robotics and autonomous systems", aiming "to ensure that robotics remains high on the agenda as one of the transformative technologies of today and tomorrow".

Key components of the cyberfest are the School Robot Challenge, a robotic bug build task for 4 to 17-year-old schoolkids, the Surgical Robot Challenge, the Field Robotics Challenge ("a platform for demonstrating the latest robotic technologies for use in unstructured and dynamic environments"), and the pretty self-explanatory Autonomous Driving Challenge.

There's also a rather vague UAV Challenge, which may or may not require avoiding an Airbus A320 landing at Heathrow.

The week will also feature three shindigs for robotics professionals. Here's the run-down, according to EPSRC UK-RAS Network:

  • The Hamlyn Symposium for Medical Robotics (25-28 June, London) – An international forum for surgeons and engineers to discuss the latest advances in surgical and medical robotics.
  • TAROS (Towards Autonomous Robotic Systems) 2016 (28-30 June, Sheffield) – Covers a wide range of robotics and autonomous systems technologies.
  • Eurohaptics 2016 (4-7 July, London) – Major international conference on haptics and touch-enabled computer applications, and the primary European meeting for researchers in the field.

EPSRC UK-RAS Network conludes: "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 details on all the events happening across the UK as part of UK Robotics Week, check out the full listing here.


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