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Sunday, October 16, 2011

First European Robotics Week: Nov 28th - Dec 4th, 2011

The first European Robotics Week will be held Nov 28th - Dec 4th, 2011 and offer various robotics related activities across Europe for the general public, highlighting growing importance of robotics in a wide variety of application areas. The week aims at inspiring technology education in students of all ages to pursue careers in STEM-related fields, i.e. science, technology, engineering and math.
So far  about 235 events have been announce in Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain and Sweden. 

Promoting Robotics 

The public interest in robotics based on the average worldwide search traffic at Google has constantly decreased. Compared to the interest in i.e. smartphones robotics has lost much of its attractiveness in the public mind in the last 7 years. Despite heavy investment in robotics research, robotics competitions and events in Japan, Europe and in the U.S. the output of attractive consumer robotics products have been poor so far. The value proposition of consumer robotics companies haven´t been good enough for mass markets.  Lack of disruptive innovations, lack of customer focus and poor marketing have been main reasons for stagnation.  
Robotics Searches 2004-2011
Google Trends: average worldwide traffic of robotics
Smartphones Searches 2004-2011
  Google Trends: average worldwide traffic of smartphones
The robotics community in the U.S. and in Europe have been concerned about the decreasing public interest in robotics especially among young people. There have also been concerns about the dystopian Western media image of robots as job and  terrorist killers in contrast to the techno-optimistic Asian robot visions based on tradition but also heavy public investments in Robotics Promotion in Japan (Expo 2005) and South Korea (Robot Cities). 
To change the public mind about robotics the robotics community is now mobilized to organize robotics events all over the country during one week to get high media attention. USA was first with organizing the annual National Robotics Week aimed to recognize robotics   "as a pillar of 21st century American innovation, highlights its growing importance in a wide variety of application areas, and emphasizes its ability to inspire technology education." 
The first National Robotics Week was held in April 2010 with over 50 affiliated events in 21 states, DC, and Puerto Rico. Over 46,000 people participated, including over 24,000 K-12 students. The second annual U.S. National Robotics Week in was held April 9-17, 2011 including 100 affiliated events in 22 states, DC, and Puerto Rico

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