Last Saturday robotics enthusiasts from all over Barcelona gathered in the Mobile World Centre at the heart of the city to learn about how the latest robotic technology is being put at the service of citizens. The event was organised by the educaBOT foundation, which aspires to promote science and technology and introduce a wider audience to the reality of robotics research and industry.
Visitors of all ages were invited to attend a number of talks on subjects ranging from healthcare and educational robots to civil applications of drones and autonomous submarine vehicles. In addition, those interested could take part in a series of workshops, which encouraged people to learn about the practical side of robotics.
Another highlight of the Meeting was the national final of the VEX Robotics Competition, where several teams faced each other in an interactive game that motivated them to find creative solutions to complex engineering problems.
The biggest attraction of the event, however, was the exhibition area that allowed the visitors to get a glimpse of the future of the service robotics. Although modest in size, the exhibition featured some remarkable examples of robotic technology, mainly provided by local research institutions.
Adele Robots, for instance, showcased an adorable baby seal robot called Paro, which is already used for therapeutic purposes in hospitals and aged care facilities, where it helps personnel calm patients and improve their social behaviour. The exhibition also featured the iCub robot from the Synthetic, Perceptive, Emotive and Cognitive Systems group (SPECS) at Pompeu Fabra University. The robot received tons of deserved attention, especially from children. Teo, a 3D mapping robot from Institut de Robòtica i Informàtica Industrial, and Aisoy1, an educational robot from Aisoy Robotics, are just two other examples from this year’s exhibition.