Hundreds flock to Coventry College as robots come to town
March 30, 2023

Hundreds flock to Coventry College as robots come to town

Please note: This article was published on March 30, 2023 and may contain information that is no longer current or up to date.
People enjoying Robot Day

Hundreds of visitors flocked to see awe-inspiring machines and AI innovations as a major event celebrating the world of robots returned to Coventry for British Science Week.

People of all ages joined leading researchers and innovators at Coventry College for Robot Day 2023, as the event, supported by the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET) and Imagineering Foundation, returned for the first time in four years.

Interactive activities from exhibitors including University College London, who hosted an artificial intelligence (AI) driving simulator, and OhBot, a robot head that uses AI to interact with humans, ran alongside lectures discussing the ethics of self-driving vehicles and the use of ‘soft-robotics’ in advanced healthcare to replicate the sensation of human touch. Visitors even had the chance to learn to dance like a robot with Flux Moving Science.

Organisers Stephen Powley and Derrick Willer praised the team of 180 volunteers for supporting visitors and exhibitors throughout the day. They have set their sights on working with partners to build an outreach programme in Coventry and surrounding areas, with an annual Robot Day event as its focal point.

Stephen, a PhD candidate at Coventry University, created Robot Day Coventry alongside Derrick, who was appointed MBE for services to education in 2018, to inspire and educate young people and the influential people in their lives about science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM). The event brings together creative workshops, hands on activities, displays, and talks from world-leaders in robotics, automation and AI.

Stephen said: “It was fantastic to welcome so many visitors and incredible exhibitors and speakers, as well as the Dean of Engineering at Coventry University and the Lord Mayor of Coventry, to Robot Day 2023 in our first event since the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We were joined by both familiar and new faces, from schools and academics to industry leaders, and it was incredibly rewarding to see so many people of all ages getting hands-on with some truly exciting creations. I know that many will be inspired to pursue careers in STEAM.”

Derrick added: “The event would not have been possible without the support of our wonderful committee, partners and volunteers, who helped with everything from wayfinding, tech support, social media and photography to running the Robot Day Coventry organisation.

We hope to build on the success of this year’s event by coming back bigger and better than ever in 2024.”

Gemma Knott, Vice Principal for Business Growth, Engagement and Partnerships at Coventry College, said: “It was a privilege to work with Stephen, Derrick and the rest of the Robot Day team on the return of their flagship event.

“As well as being able to host hundreds of people from the local area and further afield, allowing them to engage with fascinating people and creations, the day provided a great opportunity for over a hundred students to gain experience working behind the scenes and on the day of a major event. We hope that Robot Day continues to grow.”

Notes to editors

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