Bristol & Bath RoboFest, June 21st-30th 2021

Bristol & Bath RoboFest, June 21st-30th 2021

24 May 2021

Bristol & Bath RoboFest is a week of fun, free STEM activities to celebrate UK Robotics Week here in the South West, delivered as part of South West STEM Fest. These events are brought to you by DETI Inspire, STEM Ambassador Hub WE, Bristol University Digimakers, Bristol Robotics Laboratory, We The Curious and Bath Spa University.

There will be plenty to get involved with throughout the week, both online and at in-person events throughout both cities. Activities are suitable for a wide variety of ages. Take a look at the full programme below and join us for some lively robot themed fun this June.


Robot Revolution, Open City Lab @ We The Curious

When: 22nd May – 4th July, 10am-5pm

Where: We The Curious, 1 Millennium Square, Anchor Rd, Bristol BS1 5DB

About: Does spending time with robots change how we think and feel about them?  

Launching the brand-new Open City Lab space, enter our futuristic football stadium and play alongside your robot team mates. Personalise your hand-held robot and have a practise game before the final competition! Will you and your robot team mates win the cup? 

Robot Revolution is part of our Open City Lab programme, where YOU the visitor can be an active part of real, ongoing research. In this activity, we’ll be working with researcher Thalia Gjersoe of Bath University to find out how children perceive robots to help scientists build better ones in the future. 

Join in: Entry to Open City Lab is free with general admission to We The Curious Science Centre, for more info and to book your tickets visit https://www.wethecurious.org/event/project-what-if


Robot Treasure Hunt

When: Monday 21st June 5-6pm & Friday 25th June 4-5pm

Where: Online

About: This free online game is suitable for young people aged 10-16 and was created by the FARSCOPE students at the Bristol Robotics Laboratory

Join in: Follow this link


Digital Playground

When: 21st-27th June

Where: 17/18 Milsom Street, Bath

About: An immersive, walk-through forest installation of oversized, robotic flowers and hanging gardens. As visitors move around it becomes apparent that the forest’s appearance subtly changes according to their movements and position in space. 

These biologically inspired, plant infused, robotic sculptures react to audience movements and behaviours with creative digital programming. Simply walking, stepping, swaying, spinning or even dancing in the space will change the movements, shape and mood of the sculpture. 

This oasis aims to passively remind us all to take it slowly, breathe, feel safe and allow playfulness. Not replacing nature, but representing our relationship with the environment and exploring possibilities of technological innovation to aid ecological sustainability.

The work explores how humans flourish when we can enjoy having positive agency over the world outside, however subtle, which can help open up leisure time in a safe and sustainable way. 

Join in: Digital Playground forms part of the Forest of Imagination event. It is free, open for all ages – and intended for everyone, so come out and play!


STEM @ Baggator

When: Monday 21st June, 4:30-6:30pm (8-13 year olds) & 6-8pm (14-17 year olds)

Where: Baggator, The Pickle Factory, 13 All Hallows Rd, Easton, Bristol BS5 0HH

About: Free community STEM Club for young people in Easton who want to explore local environmental issues by taking part in self-directed STEM projects.

Join in: No registration required, young people from the area between the ages of 10 and 16 are welcome to drop in.*

*Please note that as this is an in-person activity, the number of participants able to join the session is limited to 40 and will operate on a first come first serve basis.


Lawrence Weston STEM Club

When: Thursday 24th June, 4-6.45pm

Where: Ambition Lawrence Weston, Long Cross, Lawrence Weston, Bristol BS11 0RX

About: Free community STEM Club, part of the youth provision at Ambition Lawrence Weston, for young people who want to redesign and redefine their local area in Minecraft.

Join in: No registration required, young people from the area between the ages of 10 and 16 are welcome to drop in.*

*Please note that as this is an in-person activity, the number of participants able to join the session is limited to 20 and will operate on a first come first serve basis.


UK-RAS: Mosaix with swarm robot Tiles

When: Tuesday 22nd June, 4-6pm

Where: Online

About: ‘Mosaix’ emerges from the interactions between swarms of robot ‘Tiles’. In this event, you will be able to remotely control your own Tile at the Bristol Robotics Laboratory to create collective art with other users. Tiles are small, 4-inch screens-on-wheels that users can draw on, colour, and move. Beyond art, our research aims to understand how humans and robot swarms can interact and work together as teams. In doing so, swarms can help humans with real-world tasks such as to make better decisions, brainstorm, monitor the environment and manage logistics.

Join in: Register here


UK-RAS talks: Pepper the Robot Goes to School with Autistic Children

When: Thursday 24th 4-5pm

Where: Online

About: Three researchers from the University of the West of England, Nigel Newbutt, Louis Rice and Séverin Lemaignan, set out to explore how new technologies like robots can improve the well-being of children at a Special Education Needs school in Somerset. For three weeks, Pepper the robot will live in the school, alongside the pupils and the teachers, and interact with the children to provide a range of activities; including fun tasks and comforting scenarios. While the study is still active (in the school), the researchers will present some initial findings, illustrations of key interactions, and what we have seen emerging from the study so far. Implications for future work in this field will also be presented.

Join in: Register here


We Make Our Future

When: Thursday 24th June, 9.30am-2.30pm

Where: Online

About: A lively and interactive virtual science show brought to you by Explorer Dome Bristol. Join us at the show to “think global, act local” and see how We Make Our Future.

Join in: Register here*

*This event is open to schools who have taken part in the Great Science Share, Lego League or Leaders Award only


Robots’ day at Bristol’s Old Library

When: Saturday 26th June, 10am-4pm

Where: The Old Library Community centre, Muller Rd, Eastville, Bristol BS5 6UQ

About: This year again, the robots will invade Bristol’s Old Library! Come and join us for a day of family-friendly robotics workshops. Led by the researchers from the Bristol Robotics Lab, we will have robots to play with and to program ourselves. It is also a unique opportunity to ask questions and discuss with researchers how robots might change our daily life.

Join in: No registration required. This is a drop-in session, free to attend, open workshop, taking place during the UK Festival of Robotics. The cafe will be open from 10am – 2pm with lots of other robot’y things around, and the robots lab and workshops will run until 4pm!


Digimakers Workshops

When: Saturday 26th June

Where: Barton Hill Settlement, 43 Ducie Rd, Barton Hill, Bristol BS5 0AX

About: Digimakers will be offering three different robot themed workshops throughout the day including:

  • BitBot: Learning to program BBC MicroBit Robots to perform various tasks including movement, lights and line following
  • Thymio: Exploring the functions of robots and seeing how we can match their behaviours with nature
  • Demos: Demonstrations of how robots can interact and communicate with each other in swarms 

Join in: Register here


Soft Robotics Puppetry and Design Workshops

When: Sun 27th June, 12-3.30pm

Where: 17-18 Milsom Street, Bath 

About: Do you love robots? Come and build you own soft robot in Bath! 

Little Lost Robot are offering a completely free Soft Robot/Digital-Physical interface session. Participants can come, play with our robots, find out how they work and design and make their own. 

Aimed at anyone aged 7 and up these are puppetry and design workshops where participants can create their own air driven robot/animal/puppet out of scrap materials and test them on our reactive robotic interface.

We are interested in exploring how people feel technology should feel like and look like in the future. 

Join In: Book your place Book by emailing Ruby@lostrobot.org with the heading “SUNDAY”. Please be aware that due to Covid restrictions we can only have 20 people in the space at one time, and children under 12 will need an accompanying adult. 


BRL Virtual Conference

When: Wednesday 30th June

Where: Online

About: The Bristol Robotics Laboratory Virtual Conference brings together leading robotics researchers and business leaders to explore how robotics, smart automation, AI and machine learning can benefit organisations, from start-ups to large corporations. This virtual conference will include sessions with current MSc and FARSCOPE Robotics students sharing their research.

Join in: Register here


Bristol RoboFest forms part of South West STEM Fest. For more STEM events and activities taking place throughout June visit https://www.graphicscience.co.uk/stem-support/swstemfest/