Heriot-Watt Robotics Society shortlisted for Engineering Society of the Year

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Robotic Society
"The team and certificate” from L-R : Calum Thow – Head of Engineering within the society, Liza Masson – Co-President, Bruce Wilson – Co-President, David Ingleby – Committee Member.

With over 60 members, fun projects and a passion for robots, the Robotics Society has become the place to be for STEM students. Heriot-Watt is a leading university for robotics and AI research and education, and the Robotics Society is committed to offering a space where robotics enthusiasts can connect with peers, share ideas and build robots together!

The Robotic Society was shortlisted for the Engineering Society of the Year along with three other societies: FemEng: Empowering Women in EngineeringBristol CivSoc (Civil Engineering Society) and Women in STEM Society - University of Dundee!

The Engineering Talent Awards, powered by EqualEngineers, celebrates the diversity of the engineering and technology profession.

The awards aim to raise the profile of the engineering and technology professions across the UK and highlight diversity in engineering on a national platform. Through showcasing role models and inspiring people, we can celebrate the diversity of organisations and engineers.

The winner was announced at the awards dinner on 15 September 2022, at the Leonardo Royal Hotel Tower Bridge, London.  Sadly, the Robotics team didn’t win but the event did provide a worthwhile event of networking meeting Sir Julian Young, the president of the IET, Peter Bonfield, the vice-chancellor of the University of Westminster as well as individuals from Rolls-Royce, Airbus, SSE and more! 

Preparing for the nomination, the Robotics Society ran a sumo-bot competition. Throughout the semester, students worked on building a fully autonomous sumo-bot, teaching basic Arduino programming, wiring, and debugging along the way. (Arduino is an open source platform for creating interactive electronic objects.) By the end of the year, the Robotics Society members built 17 bots, some of which participated in the end of semester competition to win the coveted Robo-Sumo trophy.

The National Robotarium, which was officially opened last week, is working in collaboration with The Robotics Society to create activities and events together. Academics have reached out to the society for showcases such as during the Women and Girls in Science Day and a Q&A among the university’s newsletter sent to students and alumni. They have also partnered with some staff responsible of outreach opportunities to present robotics to schools.

The plans this year is to launch our planned Hackathon called “Breaking Down the Barriers”. The statement of this event is: “Using inventive ideas and creations to improve accessibility in STEM.

The Society started in 2019-2020 with 20 members, grown to 40 members in 2020-21 and now in 2021-22 the number of members has exploded with 64 members signed up on the Union page with around 20-30 active members and more than 100 members have signed up on our Discord server which is active on a daily basis.

For more information about the society visit: https://www.hwunion.com/societies/robotics/

For more information on the awards visit: https://engineeringtalentawards.com/winners-2022/

The Robotics Society co-presidents would also like to add: "We want to thank all our committee members past and present who don't appear in the photo above for making this possible, namely: Mario Fuente Rodriguez, Claudia García Mendoza, Liam Mulholland, Birthe Nesset, and Adam Grecner".

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Susan Kerr