ANNOUNCING: Robotics Summer Showcase 2021 New 3-month programme of online events launches 5th May

First summer-long showcase to highlight cutting-edge in UK robotics research and innovation, offering unique opportunities for industry and academia to collaborate

London, United Kingdom, April 29 2021—The EPSRC UK Robotics & Autonomous Systems (UK-RAS Network) today announces the programme for its first Robotics Summer Showcase - a unique summer-long showcase of the cutting-edge in UK robotics research and innovation. This programme will run from May to July, and launches on Wednesday 5th May with an online opening ceremony (3-4pm BST), which will feature a welcome from the EPSRC UK-RAS Network Chair, Professor Robert Richardson, keynote speakers Dr James Chandler (University of Leeds), Dr Simon Watson (University of Manchester) and Dr Katrin Solveig Lohan (Heriot-Watt University), plus exclusive event previews. Attendees can register for the event now via:

This exciting inaugural showcase will run throughout May to July and offer a variety of free-to-register lectures, workshops, demonstrations and events from across the ESPRC UK-RAS Network aimed at engaging the RAS community, and helping to create meaningful connections and foster collaboration. Highlight events include:

- Robotics + Care Mashup (10th - 14th May) - five-day online "mashup" event bringing together care professionals, academics and technology providers to prototype new solutions to support the care sector, hosted by the UK's first National Robotarium, a collaboration between Heriot Watt University and the University of Edinburgh.

- Establishing a UK Surgical Robotics Roadmap (14th May 2pm - 3.30pm BST) - workshop bringing together multi-disciplinary international experts from the domain of surgical robotics - spanning laparoscopic surgical robots, continuum surgical robots, intra-corporeal robots and microrobots - to shape science policy and funding.

- 4th UK-RAS Conference for PhD and Early-Career Researchers: Robotics at Home (2nd June 10am - 4pm BST) - virtual event specifically designed for PhD students and early-career researchers to foster research progress and offer opportunities for networking.

- Humans in the Loop and Human-Robot Teaming for Remote Inspection (15th June 11am - 12pm BST) - take part and ask questions in this interactive showcase from the Human-Robot Interaction theme of the ORCA Hub, using Artificial Intelligence and Natural Language Interaction to help people manage, control, and cooperate with remote robots from the safety of a control room.

- The Ethical Black Box in Human-Robot Dialogue (13th July 2pm - 3.30pm BST) - virtual demonstration of the Ethical Black Box platform - developed by researchers at the University of Oxford and Bristol Robotics Lab - which collects data for use in the event of an accident.

The 3-month programme will culminate in virtual award ceremonies for the prestigious international Surgical Robot Challenge and Medical Robotics for Contagious Diseases Challenge, the much-anticipated launch of the UK-RAS Network 2021 White Papers, and conclude with the Robotics Summer Showcase Closing Ceremony (30th July, 4pm - 5pm BST; keynote speakers to be announced).

EPSRC UK-RAS Network Chair Robert Richardson remarks: "For the first time, we are offering a full three months of stimulating and unique events that will demonstrate the exceptional depth and breadth of UK robotics and autonomous systems research and innovation - from soft robotics and medical robotics to industrial robots and remote inspection robotics. We are very excited to be able to offer this fantastic, wide-ranging programme to a diverse range of audiences, and to be facilitating a much-needed virtual community platform that will accelerate and drive forward even greater advances in these fields."

Alongside the Robotics Summer Showcase, the ESPRC UK-RAS Network will also be hosting the new UK Festival of Robotics - a 7-day celebration aimed at engaging members of the public in robotics and intelligent systems. This exciting programme will run from 19th - 25th June and provide online events, competitions, and activities for robot enthusiasts of all ages. Now in its 6th year, this annual celebration (formerly UK Robotics Week) is hosted by the EPSRC UK-RAS Network as part of its mission to provide academic leadership in robotics, coordinating activities at over 30 partner universities across the UK.

For more information about the Robotics Summer Showcase and the UK Festival of Robotics, please visit:


Notes to editors

Robotics Summer Showcase: May - July 2021

Events overview (

• Robotics Summer Showcase Opening Ceremony | 5th May

• Robotics + Care Mashup | 10th - 14th May

• MRI Robotics for minimally invasive procedures in the bore of the magnet | 11th May

• How do I start a career in robotics? | 12th May

• Establishing a UK Surgical Robotics Roadmap | 14th May

• Advanced Surgical Robotic Technologies | 17th May

• Legged Robots for Industrial Inspection and Intervention | 18th May

• Creating road maps for minimally invasive interventions in the brain | 28th May

• 4th UK-RAS Conference for PhD and Early-Career Researchers | 2nd June

• From Tool to Assistant: Developing Adaptive Surgical Robots for the OR | 2nd June

• Soft, smart, multifunctional, agile and aware surgical robots | 9th - 11th June

• Perceiving, planning, moving: how robots understand the world | 11th June

• Humans in the Loop and Human-Robot Teaming for Remote Inspection | 15th June

• Surgical Skill Analysis | 24th June

• Towards Tumour Margin Assessment Using Raman Spectroscopy | 30th June

• Bristol Robotics Laboratory Conference | 30th June

• Flexible endoscopic robot for treatment of gastrointestinal cancers | 8th July

• Introduction to Soft Robotics for Industry | TBA

• The Ethical Black Box in Human-Robot Dialogue | 13th July

• Manufacturing Robotics Challenge 2021 | TBA

• UK-RAS Network 2021 White Papers Launch | 23rd July

• Surgical Robotics Challenge 2021 | TBA

• Medical Robotics for Contagious Diseases Challenge 2021 | TBA

• Robotics Summer Showcase Closing Ceremony | 30th July

+ more events to be announced soon!

About the EPSRC UK-RAS Network (

The EPSRC UK Robotics and Autonomous Systems Network (UK-RAS Network) is dedicated to robotics innovation across the UK, with a mission to provide academic leadership in Robotics and Autonomous Systems (RAS), expand collaboration with industry, and integrate and coordinate activities at eight Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)-funded RAS capital facilities and Centres for Doctoral Training (CDTs) across the country.

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