The seventh annual National Robotics Week kicks off April 2 with a record number of events – more than 250 – taking place across all 50 states. Established in 2010 by Congress and iRobot, National Robotics Week raises awareness around the importance of education focused on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM), and the role these subjects play in shaping the future of our society's youth, industry and the U.S. economy.
"National Robotics Week events offer the public unique opportunities to interact with robots in hands-on learning environments," said Colin Angle, chairman and CEO of iRobot. "I encourage parents, teachers and other influencers to consider attending a local robotics event with their children or students. I can think of no better way to inspire students to pursue technology-related fields than exposing them to the excitement of robotics."
To identify regional events, please visit: http://www.nationalroboticsweek.org/Events.aspx.
Opportunities during National Robotics Week include panel discussions, robotics competitions, introductory robotics courses for kids, robot demonstrations and tours of innovative labs. A sample of events and announcements scheduled during 2016 National Robotics Week includes:
- 'Scratch' for the iRobot Create 2 - iRobot is proud to introduce Scratch for the iRobot Create 2 – a preassembled, programmable robot platform based off the company's popular Roomba® robotic vacuum cleaner. Scratch is a project of the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT Media Lab that simplifies the coding process for children and beginner coders. Scratch for the Create 2 offers a fun, visual way of learning the fundamentals of robotics, computer science, engineering and coding. Using the Scratch program on a computer, students simply arrange coding blocks on their screen that represent movement commands and watch as their Create 2 springs into action. During National Robotics Week, iRobot is offering a 15% discount1 on the Create 2 programmable robot.
"As students program robots with Scratch, they learn to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively," said Mitchel Resnick, LEGO Papert Professor of Learning Research, and head of the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT Media Lab.
- NRW National Kick Off event, Washington, D.C. (April 1 – 9:00am – 9:00pm ET) - The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, along with Infamous Robotics LLC, bring premier university robot teams from around the country together with the Robotics Inventors Club. All types of exciting robots will be presented on stage and inside the museum during this unique event, with a special talk by CEO of Infamous Robotics LLC, Anthony 'Mr Roboto' Nunez.
- The Greater Chicago Botball Tournament, Chicago, IL (April 10 – 10:00am CT) - The Botball® Educational Robotics Program engages middle and high school aged students in a team-oriented robotics competition, and serves as a perfect way to meet today's new common core standards. Students use science, engineering, technology, math, and writing skills to design, build, program, and document robots in a hands-on project.
- USC Viterbi School of Engineering Open House, Los Angeles, CA (April 14 – 9:00am – 4:30pm PT) - The USC Robotics and Autonomous Systems Center (RASC), the USC Viterbi VAST Program and the USC Viterbi Department of Computer Science will host their annual Robotics Open House to honor National Robotics Week. There will be approximately 60 robots on display, including socially-assistive robots that aid children and elderly, humanoid robots, underwater robots, tactile sensing robots, aerial drones, and biometric robots. The school expects approximately 2000 visitors who will have the opportunity to view private labs, learn about computer vision, AI and interact with leading roboticists. For a sneak peek of the robots that will be on display at the annual Robotics Open House, visit: https://youtu.be/URNoNtClH9Q.
- Science Carnival & Robot Zoo, Cambridge, MA (April 16 – 12:00pm – 4:00pm ET) – See, touch, smell, hear and taste science in new and exciting ways. This family friendly event will have robot enthusiasts of all ages exploring technology through live demonstrations and interactive activities. iRobot will showcase several of its robots at the event, which attendees will be able to try firsthand.
Additionally, each year as part of National Robotics week iRobot teams up with IEEE Spectrum and Georgia Tech's Institute for Robotics & Intelligent Machines (IRIM) to create a set of robot trading cards! This national deck features ten famous robots developed by companies and researchers in the U.S. The 2016 National Robotics All-Star Lineup trading cards can be found at http://www.nationalroboticsweek.org/Cards.aspx.
For more information about National Robotics Week, go to: http://www.nationalroboticsweek.org/. National Robotics Week is also on Twitter (@roboweek and #roboweek) and Facebook (facebook.com/roboweek).
Official National Robotics Week gear, featuring mascot Bleeker the Rechargeable Dog, can be found at: http://www.cafepress.ca/thebleekercomicshop.
1No discount code is required; price will already reflect the 15% discount off of Create 2 during National Robotics Week, April 2-10, 2016.