We will launch the Robotarium West at HWU in June, with three events to mark the opening of this £7 million interaction Space for humans and robots to work together in physically separate indoor spaces.

VIP Event

The Robotarium will launch with a VIP event on Tuesday 13 June, bringing together MSPs, Industry and Stakeholders.

Alumni Event

On Tuesday 13 June (6-8pm), University alumni and corporate partners will be invited to their own launch of the Robotarium, where they will hear from our scientists and students on the latest developments in Robotics. They will have the chance to explore the Robotarium, meet several of our robots including iCub, FLASH, Husky and Pepper and experience research related to interactive spaces and robot navigation.

Schools Event

On Wednesday 14 June, we will invite primary school pupils from around Scotland to visit the Robotarium and meet some of our Robots and Scientists. We will invite the schools that took part in our mascot competition for the Year of Robotics, with over 1100 entries received from 50+ schools. Pupils will be invited to interact with the robots, and a series of take-home activities will be designed to inspire the next generation of robotic engineers and scientists.

Innovation Robotics 15 June

Innovation Robotics will take place at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre in June ahead of UK Robotics Week.  The EICC look forward to welcoming keynote speakers from Heriot-Watt University and the Edinburgh Centre for Robotics - Professor Ruth Aylett and Dr Thusha Rajendran.

Professor Ruth Aylett | Creating robots that care

Professor Aylett will discuss work in social robotics. This will cover how her work is focussing on producing robots that function well and help in human social environments - whether supporting the elderly to remain independent longer, helping children practice their homework, or acting as a robot team buddy in the office. The talk will highlight the importance of embodiment, expressive behaviour, and sensitivity and responsiveness to human emotions.

Dr Thusha Rajendran | Through the looking glass: what robots tell us about ourselves

Dr Rajendran will speak about what the science of human robot interaction tells us about the psychology of human interaction. He will discuss how human to robot interaction, forces us to think about people interacting with other people as ‘systems’, as opposed to in isolation. In abnormal psychology the ‘problem’ is usually seen with the individual rather than the system (i.e. someone with a mental illness, rather than someone in distress), which could be the interaction between two or more people (mother-child, employee-employer etc.). Art [in the form of Science fiction] has a long history of using robots as a mirror to own psychology, for example Data in Star Trek trying to understand human emotion, which essentially comes from the Pinocchio.

Further information is available on the EICC webpages.


We will be participating in the RAS Social Care Challenge --  a national co-operative venture that will bring together UK experts from both academia and industry to advance the integration of robots into healthcare – including services designed to support older people and those living with long-term health conditions. Researchers at Heriot-Watt will be demonstrating robot applications which can assist with social care.

Further information on the HW Year of Robotics can be found here.

Heriot-Watt Engage, Centre for Academic Leadership and Development

Edinburgh, EH14 4AS, UK
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