UK Robotics Week 2018 officially launches today; call for participation now open to schools, academic institutions and industry to engage public in UK innovation

London, UK, 17th October 2017 – Today marks the official launch of UK Robotics Week 2018, with robotics activities and competitions now open for early registration to schools, academic institutions and industry.  The UK Robotics Week programme of activities will be taking place up and down the country from early next year, culminating in a national week of celebration held from 21st – 29th June 2018.   Any institutions or organisations planning to host their own robotics events can apply now to be included in the official Programme of Activities (please visit http://www.uk-ras.org/robotics-week-2018/ for details).

Now in its third successive year, UK Robotics Week continues to go from strength to strength, highlighting the UK’s world-leading capabilities in robotics and autonomous systems innovation.    The grand finale of UK Robotics Week – the International Robotics Showcase – will once again be the centerpiece of the celebrations, and will this year be held as part of the International Business Festival in Liverpool.  The International Business Festival hosts more than 50 major global events and conferences in addition to its core programme, and this year will feature UK Robotics Week’s popular International Robotics Showcase, including high-profile invited speakers and live, cutting-edge robotics demonstrations.  The all-day Showcase will take place on Thursday 21st June 2018 at the Exhibition Centre Liverpool, Kings Dock on the Liverpool Waterfront.  Registration for the event will open early in the new year.

The Surgical Robot Challenge is an international competition for academics and industry to showcase their latest innovations in Surgical Robotics.  Now in its 4th year, this competition attracts researchers from leading institutions, with cutting-edge surgical robots being transported around the world to be demonstrated in London.  The 2018 competition is now open for entry, and international researchers interested in participating in this prestigious challenge can download all the competition information at http://www.uk-ras.org/robotics-week-2018/. Further announcements and other challenge launches will be made shortly.

The scope of UK Robotics Week has continued to grow since last year’s successful inaugural event, and the programme now includes over 100 activities across the UK, spanning public lectures, conferences, open days, exhibitions, and even film premieres.  The UK Robotics Week initiative is jointly spearheaded by founding supporters, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), The Royal Academy of Engineering, the Institution of Engineering and Technology, the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and the UK-RAS Special Interest Group, and is being coordinated by the EPSRC UK-RAS network.

EPSRC’s Chief Executive, Professor Philip Nelson, said: “EPSRC is proud to support the third UK Robotics Week. Developments in robotics, autonomous systems and Artificial Intelligence have already transformed many aspects of our lives and this impact will only increase, thanks in part to the research going on here in the UK. Through UK Robotics Week we can engage with the public, students and businesses about the exciting opportunities that this technology presents us with.”

Professor Guang-Zhong Yang PhD, FREng, Director and Co-founder of the Hamlyn Centre for Robotic Surgery, at Imperial College London and Chair of the EPSRC UK-RAS Network, added: “Since its launch in 2016, UK Robotics Week has really captured the imagination of the public, and we are now seeing ever more event partners and organisations looking to come together to celebrate the unique strengths of the UK in this key sector.”  He continued: “We’re today encouraging all students, individuals, institutions and businesses who are involved in robotics and autonomous systems innovation to take advantage of the exciting opportunities offered by UK Robotics Week to talk about their ideas and engage a wider audience in the debate about the role of robotics technology in our lives.”