The IEEE Robotics and Automation Society continues its missions to get students interested in the growing field of robotics through its pre-college student event at the recent IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems 2012 (IROS) in Vilamoura, Portugal from 7 to 12 October 2012. The local organizer, The Institute of Systems and Robotics of University of Coimbra, invited students from schools of the Algarve region to visit the conference on 9 October.
There was tremendous response as 40 pre-college students from nearby schools, accompanied by teachers, accepted the invitation. The program, partially supported by the Portuguese Agency for the Scientific and Technological Culture, started with a plenary session on surgical robotics by Professor Paulo Dario from the University of Pisa, Italy, and “European Robotics Research: Achievements and Challenges” by Dr. Libor Kral. The students attended robot navigation competitions and toured the exhibitors’ areas before witnessing a seminar by Paulo Menezes entitled “Robots and How to Become a Robot Creator.”
The event follows a similar pre-college program the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society held at the 2012 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA) in May, which you can read about here. Both events have served as excellent forums to inspire young students to consider pursuing both engineering and, particularly, robotics, as a possible career choice.
A Women in Engineering Luncheon sponsored by the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society was also held at IROS 2012. Over 60 guests joined RAS leaders to enjoy lunch while listening to helpful insight from speaker Nancy Amato.