--- Posted by Bjoern Juretzki, DG INFSO, Project Officer in the Cognitive Systems, Interaction, Robotics unit
The first ever European Robotics Week  was held from November 28 to December 4, 2011. More than 130 organisations (companies, universities, research institutes) in 19 European countries organised over 360 robotics related activities. About 80,000 people visited the various events and exhibitions throughout Europe, many of them high school students and elementary school pupils.
The events featured many opportunities for the public, particularly school kids, to have hands on interactions with robots in an educational or public setting. From shaking hands with a robot to robotics competitions, school visits, open lab tours, exhibitions … - there were many great activities!
One key event of the European Robotics Week was the Robotville Festival  in the London Science Museum where more than 20 unique robots were on display. Visitors were able to interact with the robots and ask their makers all questions that were preying on their minds.
"The European Robotics Week was the product of a successful cooperation between the leading companies, robotics institutes and universities all keen on educating the public about the growing importance of robotics. Many different robotics activities brought the wonder and genius of robotics to the people inspiring especially the youth to study science, technology, engineering, and math subjects” stated Henrik Schunk , Chairman of EUnited Robotics European Robotics Association  and Managing Partner of Schunk GmbH, Germany.
In light of the overwhelming success of the first ever European Robotics Week, a successor event will take place next year around the same time and we expect even more participants.
In the near future, the European Robotics Forum  taking place between 5th and 7th March in Odense/Denmark will carry on the torch of bringing robotics into the public eye. Come along and see with your own eyes what robotics is all about…