National Robotics Week Events in Chicago

The fifth annual National Robotics Week is taking place through Sunday, April 13, 2014. Several events will be taking place throughout Chicago to celebrate robotics week with a the goal of educating the public about how robotic technology impacts society and to advocate for increased funding for robotics technology. Robotics Week started as a way to celebrate the nation’s place as a leader in robotics development and to inspire students of all ages to pursue careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) related fields.

Armour College of Engineering is a leader in Robotics research in the Midwest. IIT is home to the Robotics Lab@IIT where researchers study the general area of robotics with a specialization in mobility in challenging environments. One of the developments to come out of the lab, Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering Matthew Spenko’s HyTAQ Robot has been featured in numerous publications. In addition, Illinois Tech Robotics (an IIT student group) that builds robots for numerous competitions throughout the year. They most recently competed at the FIRST Robotics Midwest Regional competition at the University of Illinois at Chicago Pavilion as part of the Robotic Week Festivities.

Facility Tour and Demonstrations, BIR Training Center

April 10, 2014 – 1:30-5 pm
Computer Numerical Control (CNC) and Robotics Manufacturing Lab Facility Tour – BIR Event during National Robotics Week BIR Training Center, a FANUC Robotics Certified Training and Education Site will be hosting an educational tour at its CNC and Robotics Manufacturing Lab Facility. Visitors will tour the CNC and Robotics Manufacturing Lab to see and interact with live demonstrations. Participate in hands-on workshops and demonstrations on a FANUC Robot cell and simulators. Guests will have the opportunity to talk to professionals regarding automation and manufacturing career opportunities. No tour pre-registration is required.

Greater Chicago Botball® Tournament, Museum of Science and Industry
April 13, 2014 – 8 am-5:30 pm
The Botball® Educational Robotics Program engages middle and high school aged students in a team-oriented robotics competition. Participants’ robots compete with each other on a custom playing field in a fast paced, non-destructive regional tournament. The robots are student built and programmed to maneuver on the game board without the need for remote control.

MATE Midwest Regional MATE Competition, UIC Natatorium
April 26, 2014 – 8 am -4 pm
MATE’s international student underwater robotics (remotely operated vehicle or ROV) competition consists of an international event and a network of 22 regional contests that take place across U.S. and in Canada, Hong Kong, Scotland, Japan, and Egypt. Student teams from upper elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, home schools, community colleges, universities, and community organizations, such as the Boys and Girls Club and 4-H, participate. The competition consists of four different classes that vary depending on the sophistication of the ROVs and the mission requirements.