Are You Ready for National Robotics Week?

Celebrate robots by taking part in a National Robotics Week event

2 min read
Are You Ready for National Robotics Week?
Photo: National Robotics Week

National Robotics Week 2014 was pretty great, with 220 events all over the United States. National Robotics Week 2015, which started this weekend and will continue until April 12, is topping 250 events (!). Are you ready?

“Last year, over 220,000 people participated in the events and I’m sure this year will be equally large,” says Lisa Freed, STEM program manager at iRobot and National Robotics Week lead coordinator. 


Freed says there are more K-12 schools organizing events this year, including outside major cities and in rural towns. “The message is carrying down and the kids are getting exposed to STEM and robotics,” she says.

And once again, IEEE Spectrum teamed up with iRobot and Georgia Tech to create a set of “trading cards” featuring famous robots developed by U.S. companies and researchers. You can see this year’s complete set (and download and print it) here.

“I think just the fact we can hit all 50 states says that robotics really is taking off and the industry is strong across the U.S.,” Freed says.

As per usual, the San Francisco area and Boston have the most going on, like:

Silicon Valley Robot Block Party
Celebrate National Robotics Week with Silicon Valley Robotics at WilmerHale in Palo Alto on April 8 2015 from 12 to 4pm. See the most advanced robotics research in Silicon Valley, the hottest robot startups, the coolest robot companies and all the just plain fun robots you can imagine. This will be our sixth year of holding the most amazing Robot Block Party ever, so whether you know your way around with lidar and ROS or just want to make a robot dance - come join us! It's a free event and open to the public from 12-4pm.

Cambridge Science Festival Robot Zoo
Back for its 3rd year! Explore amazing robotics technology and activities from organizations throughout the World. You definitely don’t want to miss this! From Legos to drones to underwater robots to the iRobot Roomba- we'll have it all!

For the rest of the events, check out the full list here.

[ National Robotics Week ]

The Conversation (0)

The Bionic-Hand Arms Race

The prosthetics industry is too focused on high-tech limbs that are complicated, costly, and often impractical

12 min read
A photograph of a young woman with brown eyes and neck length hair dyed rose gold sits at a white table. In one hand she holds a carbon fiber robotic arm and hand. Her other arm ends near her elbow. Her short sleeve shirt has a pattern on it of illustrated hands.

The author, Britt Young, holding her Ottobock bebionic bionic arm.

Gabriela Hasbun. Makeup: Maria Nguyen for MAC cosmetics; Hair: Joan Laqui for Living Proof

In Jules Verne’s 1865 novel From the Earth to the Moon, members of the fictitious Baltimore Gun Club, all disabled Civil War veterans, restlessly search for a new enemy to conquer. They had spent the war innovating new, deadlier weaponry. By the war’s end, with “not quite one arm between four persons, and exactly two legs between six,” these self-taught amputee-weaponsmiths decide to repurpose their skills toward a new projectile: a rocket ship.

The story of the Baltimore Gun Club propelling themselves to the moon is about the extraordinary masculine power of the veteran, who doesn’t simply “overcome” his disability; he derives power and ambition from it. Their “crutches, wooden legs, artificial arms, steel hooks, caoutchouc [rubber] jaws, silver craniums [and] platinum noses” don’t play leading roles in their personalities—they are merely tools on their bodies. These piecemeal men are unlikely crusaders of invention with an even more unlikely mission. And yet who better to design the next great leap in technology than men remade by technology themselves?

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