Press release issued: 26 January 2012
Six groups of computer science students from the University of Bristol hope to demystify robotics when they present their prototypes to companies at an event today [Thursday 26 January].
The presentations to a group of invited guests including several companies, such as BBC, IBM, HP, Microsoft and IPL, and local universities will take place at the Watershed, Bristol.
The computer science students have been working with pupils from a local secondary school, Nailsea School, who have been acting as stakeholders for the novel products being developed by the students. The aim of the product is to demystify robotic concepts for children.
The project, a collaboration between the University of Bristol, University of West of England (UWE) and the Watershed, is to highlight the expertise in creative technologies in the South West.
The University of Bristol students and third year BSc students from UWE have come together to combine their skills to develop novel products that will excite and teach a new generation about robotic concepts. Robotics encompasses multiple disciplines, including mechanical engineering, software programming, electronics, and human psychology.
Dr Kirsten Cater, Lecturer in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Bristol and one of the leaders on the project, said: “Back in the 1980’s the BBC Micro excited a generation of children into understanding the IT revolution and it is this generation that has been responsible for the UK’s success in the games industry. Its accessibility, simplicity and popularity sparked the imagination of thousands to develop their own programs and games.
“Looking back these same inquisitive children would take a clock apart to study the mechanism inside and learn how it works. However, today’s consumer electronics aren’t so accessible. An ability to see and understand how computers work has become obscured by their sophistication and children can only assume everything just works, like magic. Robotics is a great field to get children interested in because there are so many options for further study and exploration.”
Robotics encompasses multiple disciplines, including mechanical engineering, software programming, electronics, and human psychology.
Dr Kirsten Cater at the University of Bristol and UWE academics, David Henshall, Senior Lecturer in Engineering Design and Mathematics and Kurt Gauss, Associate Head of Department in Engineering Design and Mathematics, are leading the project.