European Robotics Week 2011
 
Brussels, 6th December 2011 – The first European Robotics Week was held from November 28 to December 4, 2011.  More than 130 organisations (companies, universities, research institutes) in 19 European countries organised over 360 robotics related activities. Based on initial estimates about 80,000 people have been reached across Europe, many of them high school students and elementary school pupils.  

The events featured throughout the week offered many opportunities for the public, particularly school kids, to have hands on interactions with robots in an educational or public setting. From shaking hands with a robot to robotics competitions, school visits, open lab tours, exhibitions … - there were many great activities. The European Robotics Week was a tremendous success in bringing awareness to the public on how robotics technology impacts our lives both now and in the future and participants agreed: this wasn’t the last European Robotics Week!

“European Robotics Week was the product of a successful cooperation between the leading companies, robotics institutes and universities all keen on educating the public about the growing importance of robotics. Many different robotics activities simply brought the wonder and genius of robotics to the people inspiring especially the youth to study science, technology, engineering, and math subjects.”, stated Henrik Schunk, Chairman of EUnited Robotics European Robotics Association and Managing Partner of Schunk GmbH, Germany.

European Robotics Remote Labs - online viewing of activities

More than 100 labs across Europe participated in the European Robotics Remote Labs initiative to showcase their activities via the internet for everyone to see from anywhere in the world. 4100 online visitors took advantage of this great opportunity to get an idea of what is going on in European labs during the European Robotics Week.  Either pre-recorded videos or live-streaming cameras showed the labs’ activities. “I am proud to be a European roboticist and so are many colleagues and friends all over Europe!” said Professor Stefano Stramigioli from University of Twente (Netherlands) and initiator of the European Robotics Remote Labs. “We had lots of great robotics activities in Europe last week and this was an opportunity to show them to the world.”

More information at:  http://www.robotics-week.eu/

Participating countries:  Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK.

Do you have further questions? Fariba Khatami (Tel: +32 2 706 8222; Email:fariba.khatami@eu.nited.net) will be happy to answer them.

Statements from participating organisations 

 

“Thanks to the European Robotics Week the promising field of robot technology was presented to a wide audience.  Public’s great interest in the events shows how fascinating robots are. We are very pleased with the response and will
re-engage in the next European Robotics Week.”

Heinz Gerteiser, Head of Robotics central Europe, ABB Automation GmbH, Germany

“We are very pleased with the outcome of the European Robotics Week. Due to the extremely positive response and the large number of visitors we are planning for more open days for students and teachers next year."

Joachim Melis, CEO, Adept Germany

“Last week has shown the great breadth and depth of European robotics research is met by an equally great interest from the public: with more than 100 attendants from all across the globe, the RoboEarth webcast and online workshops were a great success. I am greatly looking forward to a repetition of this successful debut."

Markus Waibel, senior researcher, ETH Zurich, Switzerland 

“Hundreds of girls got the chance to use robots to explore science and technology in a hands-on and fun way. In collaboration with Greenlightforgirls.org partners ICT2act, Scuola di Robotica and ESERO (an education project of ESA), the g4g "Mission on Mars" activity ran simultaneously in Brussels and Genova, and reached over 300 girls with the message that "even the sky is not the limit" when it comes to girls and the future of robotics!

Cheryl D. Miller, European Director & Technology Chair at greenlight for girls aisbl (Brussels, Belgium).

“European Robotics Week was the product of a successful cooperation between the leading companies, robotics institutes and universities all keen on educating the public about the growing importance of robotics. Many different robotics activities simply brought the wonder and genius of robotics to the people inspiring especially the youth to study science, technology, engineering, and math subjects.”

Henrik A. Schunk, Managing Partner SCHUNK GmbH (Lauffen, Germany) and Chairman of EUnited Robotics (European Robotics Association).

“We open the doors to our lab to give all better insight into what robots can and cannot do.”

Markus Vincze, professor at TU Wien (Vienna, Austria) 

“Our organization welcomed the opportunity to actively participate in the European Robotics Week. Cooperation between the University and industry was of great benefit which showed that working jointly is very effective. I would like this to turn into a tradition and starting today, new ideas for the following year are already emerging.

Jaromir Jezny – CEO of ZTS VVU KOSICE a.s., Slovakia

“I am proud to be a European roboticist and so are many other colleagues and friends all over Europe. A lot of great robotics activities are going on in Europe and this week is an opportunity to show it to the world. That’s why I had the idea to start the European Robotics Remote Labs initiative.”

Stefano Stramigioli, professor at University of Twente, Netherlands and initiator of the European Robotics Remote Labs.   

“This was a great cooperation between ABB and University of Applied Science in Friedberg.  Students thoroughly enjoyed the lab tour and workshop. We look forward to organizing more such events next year.”

Professor Dr. Klaus Brillowski, University of Applied Science, Friedberg

Statements from participants at various events

“Robotics is not just for boys!” 

Alena and Luisa, 10th grade, Henry-Benrath School, Friedberg, Germany

"I want to become a roboticist when I grow up" Tina, 14 year old pupil at open lab day of University of Valencia. 

“Very interesting. Pity we don't use robots every day! They can be used in IT and we can learn how to program things“, Kevin Laferla (14 years old), High school student in Malta.

"Very nice and different from computers because we can program robots and make them do work and build products like cars." Nathaniel Sammut (12 years old), middle school, in Malta.

"We learned more things about mathematics, physics, astronomy and English, working with robots than in two months of regular lessons in class!” Maria Grigoli, high school student in Italy.

“We wanted to thank all involved for the opportunity this gave our students and teachers to expose themselves to the application of robotics outside the classroom reality. Our students left very enthusiastic about the experience. We wanted to show our appreciation for the variety of workshops as well as the overall organisation of the event and wanted to thank all those, lecturers, students and private entities, who dedicate their precious time to such events. We look forward to similar events in the future as they are definitely key in raising students' understanding of the role of Computing in industry and the community.”  Marlene Galea & Robert Vella (HoDs Computing), Malta.

“I didn’t know that these engines could play football, I think it is incredible!” “I see it is a bit complicated, but I think that it is a job with good prospects”. Maria Pituelles, high school student, Spain.

 “We are discovering new options for our future”, Emilio Lobo, high school student, Spain.

"Robot-assisted rehabilitation on my upper limb has improved the quality of my life!" Enrico, 65 years, stroke patient at the workshop in Volterra, Italy.

"This workshop provided a wonderful opportunity for presenting state-of-the-art in rehabilitation robotics to an attentive audience" Gianluca, 55 years old, director of a research spin-off company at the workshop in Volterra, Italy.  

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About euRobotics Coordination Action

The euRobotics Coordination Action targets two main objectives: the improvement of cooperation between industry and academia, and the enhancement of public perception of (European) robotics.
The euRobotics Coordination Action is funded by the European Commission within the 7th Framework Programme, Challenge 3: Cognitive Systems, Interaction, Robotics. (FP7-ICT-244852; 01/2010-12/2012).  
Further information at http://www.eurobotics-project.eu

Contact: 
Fariba Khatami, EUnited Robotics (European Robotics Association) 
Tel.: +32 2 70682-22
E-mail: fariba.khatami@eu-nited.net