ON April 17 pupils from Years 8 and 9 at Aylestone School visited the world’s leading Robotics Laboratory in Bristol.

The trip was organised as part of a project to broaden the horizons and widen the aspirations of the most able students and the visit helped the youngsters gain an insight into the incredibly varied research being done at the laboratory, including robot carers, driverless cars and robots that can go where no human can.

The Bristol Robotics Laboratory is at the cutting edge of robot development and the pupils got an opportunity to see what it takes to develop the next generation of robots. There were engineers and computer scientists aplenty, but the pupils also saw how robotics also requires experts in less obvious disciplines such as psychology, biology, chemistry and medicine.

Speaking about the trip, Year 8 pupil Evi Hudson said, ‘It was very intriguing how the engineers made the robots out of everyday parts such as Xboxes,’ while fellow pupil Araminta Colbert (also from Year 8), added, ‘I was surprised to find out how many robots are used in the medical field.’

Head of year and teacher of computer science Phil Lewis commented ‘Taking our students to the Bristol Robotics Laboratory to see the research and development taking place in the field of medical robotics and autonomous vehicles provided a great opportunity for them to see science and technology in action.

‘To hear a range of people working in this area talk about their love of science and how they moved into this area of research was really useful for our pupils. To see the enthusiasm and excitement on the faces of the students as they toured the university laboratory made the whole day a highly valuable and motivating time.”

To finish their day off, the pupils also went on to have a tour of the University of the West of England campus as part of the university’s open afternoon which they also very much enjoyed.