The second annual National Robotics Week will be held from April 9-17 with a weeklong series of regional events and activities aimed at increasing public awareness of the growing importance of “robo-technology” and the tremendous social and cultural impact that it will have on the future of how people will live, work and play worldwide.
National Robotics Week occurs annually on the second week of April to recognize robotics technology as a pillar of 21st century American innovation. The week’s aim is to highlight the growing importance of robotics in a wide variety of application areas and to emphasize its ability to inspire students while building their interest in technology and innovation.
From Palo Alto to the National Mall in D.C. to Boston, events being held throughout the week will feature dozens of opportunities for the public to interact with robots in a hands-on learning environment. Panel discussions, robotics competitions, introductory courses on robotics for kids, educational workshops for businesses, demos and tours of innovative labs will provide networking opportunities and expose many to the genius and wonder of robotics.
National Robotics Week is a product of an effort by leading universities and companies to create a “national roadmap” for robotics technology, which was initially unveiled at a May 2009 briefing by academic and industry leaders to the Congressional Caucus on Robotics. U.S. Representative Mike Doyle (PA-14), co-chair of the caucus, and other members submitted a formal resolution (H.Res. 1055) that Congress passed on March 9, 2010 to support the designation of the second full week in April as National Robotics Week.
“Now in its second year, National Robotics Week continues to be a tremendous success in educating the public on how robotics impacts society, both now and in the future,” said Rep. Doyle. “Robotics provides an exciting, hands-on way for students to learn science, technology, engineering and math subjects, and the industry is poised to create many high-tech jobs in the U.S. in areas ranging from manufacturing to healthcare.”
The current effort is being coordinated by a National Robotics Week Advisory Council, organized by iRobot Corp. (NASDAQ: IRBT) and The Technology Collaborative, a Pittsburgh-based non-profit economic development organization, along with a number of other companies, universities and organizations, including: Adept Technology (NASDAQ: ADEP); the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI); AUVSI Foundation; Carnegie Mellon University; Carnegie Science Center of Pittsburgh; FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology); Infamous Robotics; Innovation First International; Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council; Museum of Science, Boston; Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago; Robotic Industries Association (RIA); The Tech Museum in Silicon Valley; and Stanford University.
Robotics technology is expected to fuel a broad array of next-generation products and applications in fields as diverse as manufacturing, healthcare, national defense and security, agriculture and transportation. At the same time, robotics is proving to be uniquely adept at enabling students of all ages to learn important science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) concepts and at inspiring them to pursue careers in STEM-related fields.
“Robotics is rapidly proving to be one of the most effective, compelling and engaging means for teaching and reinforcing fundamental STEM concepts,” said Colin Angle, chairman and chief executive officer of iRobot. “National Robotics Week plays a key role engaging students in science and technology, and has emerged as an important platform to highlight the growing importance of robotics. iRobot is extremely proud to be a part of this important initiative through our SPARK program.”
Bleeker: The Rechargeable Dog, a new comic strip by Jonathan Mahood, celebrates National Robotics Week with a special weeklong series in which Bleeker (a robotic dog) and his young owner attend educational events about robotics technology. The Bleeker series of strips will run online and in newspapers across the United States during National Robotics Week.
During National Robotics Week, numerous events and activities will be held in cities across the country, including:
* Boston, Mass.
o FIRST Boston Regional, FIRST Robotics Competition, Agganis Arena, Boston University, April 7-9
o New England Regional Botball Tournament, University of Massachusetts Lowell, April 9
o Robotics Innovations Competition and Conference, Woburn, Mass., April 10
o IEEE International Conference on Technologies for Practical Robot Applications, Woburn, Mass., April 11-12
o Boy Scouts of America Merit Badge Workshop, Museum of Science, Boston, April 15-16
o Robot Block Party, Museum of Science, Boston, April 16
* Pittsburgh, Pa.
o Teruko Yata Memorial Lecture, Carnegie Mellon University, April 14
o MOBOT Races, Demonstrations and a Reception, Robotics Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, April 15
o Boy Scouts of America Merit Badge Workshop, Carnegie Science Center, Roboworld, April 15-17
* Chicago, Ill.
o Robot Block Party, Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago, April 9-10 and 16-17
* Washington, D.C. Area
o CSM Robotics Challenge, College of Southern Maryland, April 9
o Robotics Educational Seminars for children by Infamous Robotics, Smithsonian American History Museum, April 9-10
o AUVSI Foundation’s Student Ground Robot Demonstration on the Washington, D.C. National Mall, April 9-11
o Unmanned Vehicles inside the Museum, National Air and Space Museum, April 14-15
* San Francisco Bay Area, Calif.
o Young Innovators Day, The Tech Museum, San Jose, April 10
o Robotics Executive Roundtable, Adept Technology, Pleasanton, April 11
o Robot Block Party at the Volkswagen Automotive Innovation Lab, Stanford University, April 14
o RoboGames 2011, San Mateo Event Center, April 15-17
* Rocklin, Calif.
o Open House at Parallax Inc., April 15
* Bloomington, Ind.
o Indiana University Robotics Open House, April 14
* Hilo, Hawaii
o Big Island Regional ROV Contest, April 16
* Durham, N.C.
o Robot Rumble, Museum of Life and Science, April 16
* Orlando, Fla. Area
o 7th Annual Florida Regional ROV Competition, April 9
o Boy Scouts of America Merit Badge Workshop, VEX Robotics World Championship, April 10 and 16
o VEX Robotics World Championship and BEST World Championship, ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, April 14-16
* Branchburg, N.J.
o RoboCupJunior - Programming self-awareness for the robot event, April 12-13 and 17
* Baltimore, Md.
o Johns Hopkins Robo-Challenge 2011, April 16
For a full listing of National Robotics Week events from around the country and an extensive inventory of robotics-related resources and information, please visit us at www.nationalroboticsweek.org