Robotic revelry

Robotic revelry

QUT’s home-grown robots took centre stage in future-focused festival.

Does Brisbane love bots? A crowd of around 22,000 people can’t be wrong! Robots of all shapes, sizes and abilities came, saw and conquered QUT’s Robotronica festival in August, much to the delight of families, tech heads and the plain curious.

Held at QUT’s Gardens Point campus, QUT’s signature public engagement event delivered on its promise of giving the public a peek into our increasingly automated future and at how the robotics revolution will affect our work, leisure and even relationships.

Among world leaders in robotics innovation, QUT has established the biennial festival to educate the public about the growing role of robotics in our lives and inspire the next generation of scientists, technologists and entrepreneurs.

Robotronica visitors swarmed across all attractions, which included: keynote talks from Georgia Tech’s Professor Ron Arkin and Australian artist and astronaut candidate Dr Sarah Jane Pell; panel discussions on everything from Indigenous perspectives of technology to life with robotic coworkers; and challenges, creative activities and roving robotic displays.

Alongside QUT’s hard-working robots, like Harvey the capsicum picker and Cartman, the 2017 Amazon Robotics Challenge world champion, were a host of art-inspired machines designed to make us rethink our relationship with technology. Art Center Nabi’s Robo-Panda delighted crowds with its emotive expressions while Chair Walker made it clear to the public it didn’t want to be sat upon.

The Cube launched its new STEM installation Code-A-Bot. It’s the first Cube experience that can be played in teams, in a race to equip and code the most recycling robots in a virtual recycling plant.

Meanwhile, 40 bots battled for the 2017 Australian Robowars Championship in heats across the weekend. Robowars veteran Jake Anderson took the title with his machine, NC.

Robotronica 2017 marked QUT’s third robotics festival and the most successful yet.

Robotronica 2017

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