#Future Tech

Thousands flock to Robotronica to get a glimpse of robotic future

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Robotronica, organised at Brisbane’s Queensland University of Technology (QUT), has been a day of discovery, fun and learning for many as thousands flocked to the public event to get a glimpse of what the future holds for the world of robotics.

The event basically converted QUT’s Gardens Point campus into a robot-infested campus with public being treated with workshops, live demonstrations, performances and installations, as well as a robot petting zoo.

The one-day free event saw a range of robots from the dancing child-like Naos to Australia’s first trapeze-swinging robot and the jazzy marimba playing Shimon Robot to aquabots, pet bots, medical bots, fruit picking and AgBots.

The even saw attendance from as many as 20,000 people. Kids were seen pitting their skills against each other in games ranging from sumo wrestling to robotic ball and mini quadcopter obstacle courses.

Colour-blind New York Cyborg Neil Harbisson enthralled crowds explaining to them how he hears colour through an antennae implanted in his skull while Australian performing artist Stelarc illustrated his Ear on Arm project.

QUT gave away over 8,000 sets of cardboard Global Goggles enabling tens of thousands to remember and enjoy Robotronica virtually.

Members of the 501st Legion including Darth Vadar, storm troopers and R2D2 roamed the campus posing with visitors wanting the ultimate science fiction selfie.

Robotronica Creative Director Jonathon Parsons said that attendees enjoyed the opportunity of getting to known, learn and discover what the future might be like.

“I think robotics has got the perfect combination of fear and fascination that make it incredibly intriguing to the public,” he said.

Robotics professor Jonathan Roberts added that they were thrilled to take questions from public as it gives them a chance to learn about general public sentiments regarding robots – what they love about them and what they don’t like about them.

The closing performance involving QUT’s purpose-built performance robots, the Perff Bots, which strutted their stuff on the stage to the sweet sounds of performance orchestra Deepblue while circus performer Marianna Joslin and the trapeze bot hung and swung. You can check out how the event unfolded on Flickr.