The first UK Robotics Week took place from 27 June to 1 July, with events and activities around the country showcasing leading UK technology and engineering research in robotics and autonomous design.

Co-ordinated by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council’s UK Robotics and Autonomous Systems (UK-RAS) Network, and supported by the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Institution of Engineering and Technology and the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, the week sees robotic research groups from around the world visiting the UK to demonstrate their latest technologies in surgical robotics, field robotics, autonomous driving and unmanned aerial vehicles, while other challenges are set to engage and inspire school, college and university students.

On 29 June, the Academy hosted a panel discussion on robotic ethics. Robots – faithful servants or existential threat? explored whether, with the rise of artificial intelligence and automated systems, existing legislation is sufficient to protect society against future risk and the ethics of machines that can overrise human instructions. The event also featured a Pepper and a NAO robot, from London Design and Engineering UTC, which will be some of the first in the UK to be used in an educational setting. The panel discussion can be found on Twitter at @RAEngNews.

Other videos from the event:

Events including open robotics labs, public lectures and industry showcases ran up to 1 July, providing a fascinating insight into the engineering behind the robotic technology which is becoming increasingly prevalent across society.

A full programme of activities is available at UK Robotics Week website.

Notes for editors

Royal Academy of Engineering. As the UK’s national academy for engineering, we bring together the most successful and talented engineers for a shared purpose: to advance and promote excellence in engineering. We provide analysis and policy support to promote the UK’s role as a great place to do business. We take a lead on engineering education and we invest in the UK’s world-class research base to underpin innovation. We work to improve public awareness and understanding of engineering. We are a national academy with a global outlook.

We have four strategic challenges:
- Make the UK the leading nation for engineering innovation
- Address the engineering skills crisis
- Position engineering at the heart of society
- Lead the profession

For more information please contact:

Aaron Boardley at the Royal Academy of Engineering
T: 020 7766 0655
Aaron Boardley