The robots are having a block party to celebrate the 6th annual National Robotics Week. The festival is organized by Silicon Valley Robotics, in conjunction with Stanford Robotics Club and WilmerHale law firm. The Robot Block Party will run from 12 to 4pm on Wednesday April 8 outside the WilmerHale offices in Palo Alto, where the shady lawn provides a lovely picnic area for rolling and roving robots. There’ll be a pool for aquatic robotic shenanigans, and don’t forget to pack the fly spray for those pesky aerial drones.
More than 1500 people have attended the Robot Block Party in previous years, both at Stanford in the Vehicle Automation innovation Lab or CIS facility and at the new location at WilmerHale Law firm, making this one of the largest festivals of National Robotics Week. National Robotics Week is a federal initiative to celebrate the US as a leader in robotics technology development and to educate the public about how robotics technology impacts society, both now and in the future. Since its beginning in 2010, National Robotics Week has grown in size, with all 50 states now hosting events.
“At WilmerHale, we are proud to host the block party and be part of the success of the robotics industry in Silicon Valley,” said Mark D. Flanagan, partner-in-charge of the firm’s Palo Alto office. “WilmerHale is the first and only law firm to host the Silicon Valley Robot Block Party, and its support of these enterprising entrepreneurs demonstrates the growth and maturity of the region’s robotics industry.”
There will be robots from companies across a range of verticals including manufacturing, education, health and entertainment at the Silicon Valley Robot Block Party. The robots may be as large and complex as NASA or Google’s latest research, or small and as cute as Dash and Dot, the cool new robot toys from Wonder Workshop.
Some other companies involved in the Robot Block Party include EksoBionics, Pneubotics and SRI International who all have innovative exoskeletons that will help people with disabilities recover or augment their abilities. Puzzlebox will be demonstrating their brain control interface devices. There’ll be humanoids, telepresence devices, space robots and drones.
As well as robotics research and startups, there’ll be showcases of educational robotics and high school robotics teams competing in FIRST and VEX competitions. National Robotics Week also aims to advocate for increased funding for research and development and to inspire students of all ages to pursue careers in robotics and other Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math-related fields.
Silicon Valley Robotics will be taking resumes and posting job opportunities on RoboJobs.org throughout the day. “Robotics is one of the most in demand skills for the current and future workforce, being as much in demand outside of robotics as inside,“ according to Rich Mahoney, Director of Robotics at SRI International and President of Silicon Valley Robotics.