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Department of Informatics research on display at the Science Museum

Posted on 13/11/2013
octopus

This November, Robot SafariEUat the Science Museum will explore the fascinating world of biomimetic robots. Beginning on Wednesday 27th November at the Science Museum’s Lates and continuing over the weekend (30 Nov – 1 Dec), visitors can trek through the un-natural habitats of these robots, interacting with creatures that swim, flap, and crawl, in a unique safari experience.

Roboticists from the UK and across Europe, including members of the Department of Informatics at King’s, will be on hand to demonstrate their creations, helping visitors interact with a shoal of robot fish or stretch the Bat Bot’s wings while exploring the latest developments in biomimetic robotics. Visitors can also learn how to programme simple robots and build and race their own robots in a series of interactive workshops.

The STIFF-FLOP project, a €9,550,000 FP7 project led by the Department of Informatics, King’s College London, will be one of the exhibits at Robot SafariEU. The STIFF-FLOP project aims to create an innovative, octopus-inspired, soft robotic arm for minimally invasive surgery. The soft and even stiffness-controllable structure will allow surgeons to manoeuvre gently around organs during keyhole surgery, allowing access to areas inside a patient's body that could not be reached previously. It has not been on display before. The demonstration will be supported by SCHUNK who kindly provided their Powerball Lightweight Arm. The STIFF-FLOP consortium consists of scientists and medical doctors from across Europe and is led by Professor Kaspar Althoefer, Professor Lakmal Seneviratne and Dr Thrishantha Nanayakkara from the Centre for Robotics Research group of the Department of Informatics, and robotic surgeon Professor Prokar Dasgupta from the MRC Centre for Transplantation, Guy's Hospital.

“Visitors to Robot SafariEU will see not just how nature can inspire innovative robotic designs, but also how these biomimetic robots are actually advancing our understanding of the animals and plants they mimic,” explains Nicola Burghall, Content Developer for Robot SafariEU.“We’re very excited to be able to showcase some of the latest European biomimetic robotics research here at the Science Museum.”

Robot SafariEU is free and suitable for all ages (Lates is adults only). Timed tickets are required on 30 Nov & 1 Dec. These can be booked in person at the Science Museum’s ticket desks or via 020 7942 4000. 

Invitation by the Science and Technology Department of the French Embassy in London (SST)

As part of Robot SafariEU, members of the Centre for Robotics Research group of the Department of Informatics have been invited to the Science and Technology Department of the French Embassy in London (SST), which is participating in Robot SafariEU in collaboration with the French Cultural Institute in the UK (IFRU) and a French robot company: RobotSwim. Dr Thrishantha Nanayakkara of the Department of Informatics will join the meeting to take the opportunity to share expertise from different research backgrounds in biomimetics, and to explore the way the development of new international collaborations can be facilitated.

Robot SafariEU at the Science Museum

When:    27 Nov (Lates) & 30 Nov – 1 Dec 

Times:    18:45 – 21:15 (27 Nov) & 10:00 – 17:15 (30 Nov-1 Dec)

Cost: Free (booking required for 30 Nov-1 Dec, via ticket desks or 020 7942 4000)

Who: For all ages; Lates is adults only

Details:  sciencemuseum.org.uk/RobotSafari

Follow the event on twitter via #RobotSafari and tweets from @sciencemuseum   

To request interviews, or for further information and images, please contact Will Stanley in the Science Museum Press Office on 020 7942 4429 or william.stanley@sciencemuseum.org.uk.

Experts available for interviews include:

  • Nicola Burghall, Content Developer for Robot Safari EU, Science Museum
  • Peter Eckert, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland (Cheetah-cub)
  • Prof Kaspar Althoefer, Professor of Robotics and Intelligent Systems and Head of the Centre for Robotics Research (CoRe), Department of Informatics, King’s College London (STIFF-FLOP)
  • Claire Rocks, joint UK Academic Co-ordinator for Eurobotics week

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