Bristol families say hello to Pepper the Robot and friends!

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Bristol Robofest is an annual city wide initiative taking place in June to celebrate the UK Festival of Robotics and raise the profile of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths) in our local communities.

The week of activity is delivered by teams from DETI Inspire at UWE Bristol, Bristol Robotics Lab and the University of Bristol’s Digimakers, with support from our local STEM Ambassador hub.

This year, robots popped up in various locations throughout the city, including the University of Bristol’s Micro-Campus at Wellspring Settlement which played host to several robotics inspired workshops where 24 enthusiastic 10 – 14 year olds from the local area took the opportunity to explore and play with MicroBit BitBots, and Thymio Robots. They learnt about cutting edge research in the field of Swarm Robotics, while honing their skills in programming and problem solving.

Children exploring how a Thymio robot follows a drawn track

Over at the Old Library in Easton, Pepper the robot gave a warm welcome to all of the visiting families. Over 100 visitors took part in family-friendly robot workshops which were on offer throughout the day, led by researchers from the Bristol Robotics Lab, with support from FARSCOPE PhD students and MSc students from UWE Bristol.

Children were able to get hands on with lots of different robots including Naos, Thymios, Vectors and of course Pepper! There was plenty of programming robots and exploring how they move and interact with each other and with people too.

At at UWE Bristol School of Engineering, the DETI Inspire team had a fun day building robots for the Prototype and Play lab, getting the space in tip top shape for hosting school groups next academic year.

The team also partnered with Explorer Dome to host a virtual viewing of their new interactive show, We Make Our Future, in celebration of this year’s regional Lego League teams, who have been busy building and programming their Lego robots to complete this year’s challenges.

Prototype & Play Lab (outreach classroom) at UWE Bristol

And over at community STEM clubs in Easton and Lawrence Weston, the theme continued, with lots of robot racing and children having fun exploring the many different behaviours of the Thymio robots.

Thymio robots at STEM @ Baggator, a community STEM Club in Easton

Bristol RoboFest was a great success and we’re already looking forward to doing it again next year, hopefully it can be even bigger and better in 2022.

If you would like more information about how to get involved with Bristol RoboFest or STEM outreach at UWE Bristol, please contact the DETI Inspire team deti@uwe.ac.uk


DETI is a strategic programme of the West of England Combined Authority (WECA), delivered by the National Composites Centre, in partnership with the Centre for Modelling & SimulationDigital Catapult, the University of the West of England, the University of Bristol, and the University of Bath. DETI is funded by £5m from WECA, with co-investment from the High Value Manufacturing Catapult and industry.

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