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Wearing, eating and living: the future of robotics

Press release issued: 30 March 2016

A robotics expert from the University of Bristol will be speaking at Gadget Show Live! this weekend discussing the future of soft robotics and the impact it could have on people’s lives.

Jonathan Rossiter, Professor of Robotics in the Department of Engineering Mathematics, will explore where soft robotics could take everyone in the next decade and beyond.  The talk, entitled ‘Soft robotics – wearing, eating and living the future of robotics’, will take place on Sunday 3 April at 2.30 pm in The Connect Theatre at the NEC Birmingham.

Instead of hard metals and plastics soft robots uses smart along with soft and compliant materials that bend and twist when electricity is applied.  With these new technologies academics at Bristol are developing robots that will impact on all aspects of people’s lives from healthcare and entertainment to housing to fashion.

One research project Professor Rossiter is leading on is the development of smart trousers that will use artificial ‘muscles’ in its soft fabric to help disabled and older people move around easily and unaided.

The soft robotic clothing could help vulnerable people avoid falls by supporting them whilst walking, give people added bionic strength to move between sitting and standing positions and help people climb stairs, which were previously impossible.

Professor Jonathan Rossiter said: “Soft robots are new and exciting.  Imagine wearing a robot that feels like a pair of trousers and helps you to walk up stairs or run quickly or eating a gummy bear robot that delivers medicine to just the right part
of your stomach and is then digested.”

Soft robotics – wearing, eating and living the future of robotics will take place on Sunday 3 April at 2.30 pm in The Connect Theatre at the NEC Birmingham.  Tickets are priced at £9 reserved seating, full members ten per cent off.

Further information

The Gadget Show Live! runs from 31 March to 3 April 2016 at the NEC Birmingham and offers a wide programme of debate and discovery about the latest technology.

For more information and ticket prices, visit the website.

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