Living in the 21st century, it is hard to imagine a world without computers and internet, a world where communication between two people on opposite sides of the earth was nearly impossible or meant spending months waiting for a hand-written letter. The technology and devices depicted in sci-fi and space movies from 50 years ago seemed out of this world at the time. Today, we are not only making impressive progress in space voyage, but we are using all sorts of devices, similar to those in the old sci-fi movies, to perform everyday tasks like look up recipes or send emojis to our friends across the world.
Advancements in technology are something we have come to expect rather than something that seem distant or improbable in our life-time. Innovation has become a standard in almost every industry – we are constantly looking for ways to be more efficient, more productive, more adaptive. And the technology in our disposable is allowing us to push even more boundaries and test our limits. This is true in almost every aspect of life – technology has allowed for better healthcare, for more inclusive education, for instantaneous communication and for automated production.
At the start of the industrial revolution, the biggest fear people had was losing their jobs to machines. In some ways that was exactly what happened – a simple task that previously required four or five employees could now be performed by an automated production line much more quickly. So some jobs were indeed lost, however, new and different jobs emerged. Automated production lines needed engineers to perform maintenance and to monitor and improve the systems. We are seeing another revolution taking place today – a rise of the robots of sorts. Driverless cars, package-delivering robots or even robot vacuums are shaping the way we perform simple tasks. Not unlike with the industrial revolution, using robots for tasks previously performed by humans can be scary. That is why we need more awareness of the implementation possibilities and benefits of robotics.
One way to bring these technologies closer to the people is to showcase them in a fun, engaging and creative setting. A small but innovative country called Estonia is doing just that by organizing the biggest robot competition in Europe. The competition, appropriately named Robotex, is held in cooperation by two of the biggest universities in the country. Robotex has celebrated technology and engineering for 15 years already and has grown into quite an international event, with participants from more than 15 different countries coming together to have their robots face off in nearly 20 different competitions.
The three-day competition and festival is a family event with robotics and technology-related activities for all ages. There is plenty to see and do even for those who are just getting acquainted with the field of robotics – the program includes workshops, creative contests, a science conference and an impressive technology exhibition. The best part of this impressive event is that it’s free for both competitors and visitors. So for everyone even slightly curious about the world of robotics and technology – this is the event of the year.
This year’s Robotex competition will take place 2. – 4. December in Tallinn, Estonia.