“Printed” robot MARC to be showcased at national engineering event

A 3D-printed robot will be one of the star attractions at an annual event aimed at inspiring the next generation of manufacturers and engineers.

MARC (Multi-Actuated Robotic Companion) will interact with visitors to the Get up to Speed with Engineering and Manufacturing event in Sheffield on Tuesday, 8th April.

Created by Dr John Murray from the School of Computer Science at the University of Lincoln, UK, MARC is one of two robots being used to help scientists understand how more realistic long-term relationships might be developed between humans and androids.

Based on human interactions and relationships, the research team will introduce ‘characteristics’ and ‘personalities’ to the robot. If the robot can be programmed to understand how human-to-human long-term relationships begin and develop, then it would be easier to plan the human-robot relationship.

The project team believe such robots could act as companions, working with the elderly, or with children with conditions such as autism, Asperger syndrome or attachment disorder. Existing robots lack identifiable human characteristics that prevent humans developing a bond with them.

Dr Murray will also be demonstrating 3D printed quadrocopters – the latest sensation in aerial remote control aircraft. Visitors can watch the on-board footage as they record the event and learn how to build and fly these machines.

Dr Murray said: “I’m delighted to be asked to exhibit at Get up to Speed for the second year running as it is a great opportunity for the University to showcase its research. I’m extremely keen to help young people see that subjects such as Computer Science and Engineering are not as daunting as they might think. Once they have been able to interact with MARC and fly the quadrocopters they will see that these topics are actually quite fun.”

All exhibits at Get up to Speed offer the chance to see the fundamental roles design, engineering and manufacturing have played in the success of different innovations.

The event is specifically designed for young people, their families and teachers to see some of the vehicles and technologies first hand, hear from and talk to those involved.

Other activities include a Formula 1 simulator; the World’s First F3 Racing Car made entirely from sustainable and renewable materials; and a visit from Paralympic cycling gold medallist Mark Colbourne MBE.

The free event runs from 10am to 5.30pm at The Blue Shed in Brightside Lane, Sheffield. To find out more go to http://www.getuptospeed.org.uk/home

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