1/2018

School groups attended the European Robotics Forum: “The best day ever!”

The latest European Robotics Forum brought together roboticists from all over Europe. The cavalcade of robots showcased at the event sparked great interest among adults and children alike.

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The pupils and students were particularly keen to try out the robots by themselves.

 

The European Robotics Forum 2018, the leading event for the European robotics community, took place at Tampere Hall in March. The event was organized by euRobotics and the Robotics Society in Finland in collaboration with Tampere University of Technology (TUT). In addition to over 60 presentations, the event included an exhibition showcasing more than 50 robotics companies.

TUT and the Robotics Society in Finland offered groups of pupils from comprehensive and upper secondary schools the opportunity to visit the exhibition and explore the latest robotics technology. They saw industrial robots, a drinkbot, mobile robots, humanoid robots and VR technology for programming robots and could even try out some of them.

“Schools jumped at the chance to visit the exhibition. Roughly 260 comprehensive school pupils and 130 upper secondary school students visited the event over a period of three days. Guided tours for the school groups were provided by TUT's students,” says Officer Päivi Mäkitalo from TUT’s Admissions Office.

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Almost 400 comprehensive school pupils and upper secondary school students visited the event.

 

From toys to industrial applications

The exhibition was hailed as exciting and educational. Upper secondary school students were also intrigued by the option to pursue a degree in engineering.

“The pupils and students were particularly keen to try out the robots by themselves, “says Tanel Tiainen, one of the tour guides.

Toys often introduce children to the concept of robotics, but many of the pupils and students were amazed at the industrial applications of robotics. Although the event was not specifically targeted to school-goers, the exhibition offered a great deal of interesting things to see and explore.

“The main attractions for the younger participants were the robots and everything that they could try out first-hand. They saw how concrete a field robotics truly is. The medical and everyday applications of robots attracted a great deal of attention,” says Tiainen.

“One of the children said on the way out: “This was the best day ever!”

Leading robotics experts met in Tampere

The three-day European Robotics Forum on 13-15 March 2018 covered current societal and technical themes related to the field of robotics. The topics included, among others, human-robot interaction and the potential of robotics to increase industrial productivity. In addition, the participants received information on projects in the pipeline for the EU’s Horizon 2020 Programme. The event brought together roboticists, researchers and EU officials and drew close to 1,000 participants.

The conference presentations and the exhibition mounted at Tampere Hall highlighted the latest research and commercial applications in the field. TUT’s own booth showcased research related to unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), unmanned surface vessels (USV) and autonomous underwater vehicles (AUV) and even featured a genuine UAV.

 

Text: Pekka Ala-Mäyry, Jyrki Latokartano and Päivi Mäkitalo
Photos: Visual Outcasts

 
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