Coventry Robot Day event aiming to make STEAM careers attractive
Supported by the Institution of Engineering and Technology and the Imagineering Foundation, the event will feature a range of leading innovators demonstrating technology and thought-provoking activities.
Among these is Helge Wurdemann, Professor and Chair of Robotics at University College London, who has claimed young people are unnecessarily intimidated by “challenging but enjoyable” careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM).
Helge, whose research focuses on robots made of soft flexible materiels such as textiles or silicone materials called soft robotics, said: “Robot Day is a fantastic opportunity to bring young people closer to the incredible things that people across the UK and the world are achieving in robotics, and we are looking forward to seeing some of these things ourselves while meeting future engineers and academics.”
“By seeing these innovations close up and meeting the people behind them, we have a great opportunity to challenge some of the myths around technology and engineering – including that it’s unsuitable for creative people or that it’s all about numbers and data.
“In robotics, we have a chance to directly impact lives across the world through the application of robotic technology – but it’s qualities like teamwork, creativity and determination that are crucial to the industry, and these are things that everyone is capable of.”
Read more - Rise of the Robots
Wurdemann will demonstrate a haptic feedback system that explores how humans perceive the environment through their fingertips. One of the applications is minimally invasive surgery during which the surgeon is not able to examine organs and other soft tissue by touch with their fingertips.
The haptic system can be used to feedback crucial information to the surgeon to distinguish healthy from cancerous tissue – ultimately allowing doctors to maintain the sensation in their hands and interpret the structure and behaviour of tissue without actually touching it.
There will also be an intelligent mobility driving simulator which allows participants to experience how to engage with future autonomous vehicles – or take a challenge to drive in an eco-friendly way, completing a circuit using the least amount of energy.
Young drivers can experience how to control a vehicle with simulated impairment effects through beer and drug goggles.
Stephen Powley, founder of Robot Day and PhD candidate at Coventry University, said: “We are delighted to have Helge and the UCL team joining us for the return of Robot Day as our wide-ranging line-up of exhibits and activities takes shape.
“His research is a true representation of how robotics can benefit society as a whole, and we are sure his activities will not only fascinate visitors, but inspire them to pursue a STEAM career.”