Over 600 events across the region will look at how robots will impact the way European citizens work, live and learn, as part of the 2015 European Robotics Week (#ERW2015), running 23-29 November.
Robots and Society is the theme of European Robotics Week 2015, a weeklong event that aims to inspire the next generation of technologists by hosting public events and opening the doors to research and industry labs across the region. Following the recent Eurobarometer Survey on Autonomous Systems (June 2015) – which showed that the more personal experience Europeans have with robots, the better their opinion of them – the event aims to give members of the public plenty of opportunities to interact with robots and be part of the discussion. The European Robotics Week has attracted over 200K participants since its launch five years ago.
Throughout the week, the impact of robots on society will be 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 alongside people. Plus a range of competitions, challenges and hackathons are being held to inspire the next generation of engineers needed to drive the European economy.
A full list of activities can be found here.
“The European Robotics Week is an opportunity for robotics pioneers from industry and research to radiate excitement about robotics throughout Europe”, said Uwe Haas, Acting Secretary General of euRobotics AISBL – the non-profit association that is the main organizer of the event.
Public engagement and discussion
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 various aspects of “Robots and Society”, covering law, ethics, policy, education, innovation and economics. 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”. Register for the Bristol events here: http://brl.ac.uk/euroboticsweek
“The Bristol Robotics Laboratory (BRL) is committed to research that has a positive impact on society,” said BRL Director Professor Chris Melhuish. “The European Robotics Week is an opportunity for us to share latest thinking, and develop further links between research academia, industry, and the public.”
Hundreds more events across Europe
Robotics researchers and industry members right across Europe are opening their doors to the public. Here are just some of the highlights:
euRobotics is a non-profit organisation based in Brussels with the objective to make robotics beneficial for Europe’s economy and society. With more than 250 member organisations, euRobotics also provides the European robotics community with a legal framework with which to engage in public/private partnerships with the European Commission though SPARC, the largest civilian-funded robotics innovation programme in the world. SPARC aims to strategically position European robotics for the benefit of the European economy and society at large.