EUROPEAN ROBOTICS WEEK 2015:
600 EVENTS FOCUSING ON ROBOTS AND SOCIETY
Brussels, 19 November 2015 - Exploring “Robots and Society” is the focus of the European Robotics Week 2015 (ERW2015). Through 600 events, Europeans will address important questions about how robots will impact the way we work, live, and learn. In just five years, the event has attracted over 200,000 participants of all ages.
This year’s week, running 23-29 November 2015, comes on the heels of the Eurobarometer survey on Autonomous Systems (June 2015), which showed that the more people interact with robots, the better their opinion of them.
With this in mind, euRobotics AISBL, the main organiser of the week, has set out to make sure the public has plenty of opportunities to interact with robots and be part of the discussion.
"The European Robotics Week is an opportunity for robotics pioneers from industry and research to radiate excitement about robotics throughout Europe”, explains Uwe Haass, Acting Secretary General of euRobotics.
In many places, robotics researchers and industry are opening their doors to the public. Spain is especially active this year, with more than 100 events.
Robotics challenges and competitions are particularly important to inspire the next generation of engineers needed to drive the European economy. At the EU-funded RoCKIn Competition in Portugal, 14 teams from 6 countries will showcase their robots for the home and factory in front of a live audience. The R2T2 robotic space rescue mission will allow over 100 kids in 6 countries to operate a robot in scenarios akin to the movie “The Martian”. And in Germany, kids will compete in a sports-like event as part of the FIRST LEGO League Trash TREK Challenge. Their goal: make a robot that can collect, sort, and reuse trash.
From outreach to start-ups, France and Spain are all about innovation and helping new robots reach the market with a start-up weekend and robot night.
And with robots on everyone’s mind, the need to discuss their impact on society is being explored across the board. While Finland looks at robots to improve independent living, Poland discusses mining robots, Spain explores the opportunities and dilemmas for AI, and Germany ponders the implications of robots working along-side humans.
A full list of activities can be found here www.roboticsweek.eu
The Communication Centre – Bristol, UK
This year, the heart of the European Robotics Week is a series of events in Bristol UK organised by euRobotics AISBL and the Bristol Robotics Laboratory. The highlight is a debate with leading European and UK experts on “Robots and Society”. The public is invited to contribute and vote on their favourite questions here: http://robohub.org/join-the-debate-on-robots-society-during-erw2015. The Bristol audience will then join a full-day workshop on translating the latest research in robotics to market, and a buildathon where kids will help build 100 robots to "treat cancer”.
Professor Chris Melhuish, Director of the Bristol Robotics Laboratory (BRL) says, “we are delighted that Bristol is hosting the European Robotics Week. BRL is committed to research that has a positive impact on society, and the European Robotics Week is an opportunity for us to share latest thinking, and develop further links between research academia, industry, and the public”.
Register for the Bristol events here