BeachLab set to return to the seaside as Aberystwyth University celebrates UK Robotics Week
19 May 2021
Robots of all shapes and sizes are set to take over the bandstand in Aberystwyth once more this summer as Aberystwyth University celebrates UK Robotics Week (19-25 June 2021).
Plans are in place for BeachLab, which has attracted thousands of people to build and play with robots, and marvel at the creativity of robot makers, to return to the prom in Aberystwyth on Saturday 19 June 2021, COVID measures permitting.
Featuring land, sea and air robots, the day-long event has traditionally provided a colourful showcase for young robot makers from the award winning Aberystwyth Robotics Club and an opportunity to see some of the fantastic Dr Who creations of father and son team Stephen and Tomos Fearn.
Over the years, BeachLab has seen some notable contributions, including the first public performance by a robotic orchestra, which went on to feature in the Royal Institutions Christmas Lecture and broadcast on the BBC.
More recently, Robotics Week celebrated Aberystwyth’s links with the European Space Agency’s forthcoming mission to Mars, with the unveiling live on television of a full size replica of the mission’s ExoMars Rover.
This year’s event will see the debut of Afanc, the University’s new robotic submarine.
The two metres long vessel, which can dive down to a depth of 50 meters, is a significant new addition to the Aberystwyth Intelligent Robotics family of autonomous vehicles and will help scientists learn more about the sea.
As well as an opportunity to see some of the latest robotic developments at the University, there will also be online workshops during the week offering tips and advice on building and programming robots. There are also plans to show 3D models of robots in a virtual environment.
Aberystwyth Robotics Week organiser Dr Patricia Shaw said: “Aberystwyth University is a leading UK centre for robotics research and we are really looking forward to being able to return to the Bandstand this year with the ever-popular BeachLab, as we mark UK Robotics Week.”
“Robots are increasingly becoming more prevalent in everyday life, so events such as this are really important for raising awareness, understanding and interest in the latest research and technology. The future relies on the children developing the skills to build and program robots to be able to complete a wide range of tasks, so our program of events during the week is designed to engage with audiences of all ages and abilities."
Undeterred by the COVID restrictions, the team hosted Aberystwyth Robotics Week 2020 online.
Presented by Stephen Fearn from the Aberystwyth Robotics Club, the event brought together robotics experts from across the university to talk about their work, offering a fascinating insight into the technology they use in their research.
The full event can be viewed online at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GkE_1Csoexg.
For more information about BeachLab and Aberystwyth Robotics Week visit roboticsweek.dcs.aber.ac.uk, the event’s Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/aberroboticsweek, e-mail email@example.com, or follow #AberRoboticsWeek.
Aberystwyth Robotics Week 2021 is supported by the UK-RAS Network and BCS The Chartered Institute for IT.