This past week (Thursday July 4 – Sunday July 7) has seen the SciRoc team (specifically, Matthew Studley and Mark Wilson from UWE and Enrico Motta, Ian Pulford, Gianluca Bardaro and Agnese Chiatti from KMi) camping in Middleton Hall (Central Milton Keynes), as part of the MK Futures 2050 event. The SciRoc stand was conceived for showcasing different robotics technology and advertising the forthcoming ERL Smart CIty RObotic Challenge, which will be held in Milton Keynes on 16-21 September, 2019.
The MK Futures 2050 Exhibition received great interest, attracting over 125,000 visitors just over the weekend, from the general public to the experts who, together with the MK Council, are involved in designing the future of the city of Milton Keynes over the coming decades. Located “in the heart of the borough”, the exhibition was intended to give everyone the opportunity to come and see the future plans for Milton Keynes.
Various types of robots were showcased at the SciRoc booth, including a merry band of TurtleBots, drones and PAL Robotic’s TIAGo robot. In particular, the Tiago was a hit with the schoolchildren who visited the booth and enjoy interacting with it. A BBC Look East crew also turned up and filmed the Tiago robot – see the clip at https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m0006jzh/look-east-west-evening-news-04072019 (while it lasts….).
The exhibition also comprised a programme of lectures for the general public, one of which, about the future of robotics technology, was presented by Dr Matthew Studley, the SciRoc Project Coordinator. The lecture was followed by a lively Q&A session with members of the public, who asked the SciRoc team about the wider socio-technological issues associated with the current and future developments in robotics and, more in general, in AI.