Last term, 11 lucky students from Laurus Ryecroft had an exciting visit to the Computer Science Department at the University of Manchester (UoM).

The visit began with a talk by Dr Zahra Montazeri who spoke to the students about her role in the industry.

Dr Montazeri showed students some examples of her work for huge projects such a Disney Pixar, DreamWorks, Star Wars, Game of Thrones and many more.

A lot of her work in animated film and television involves coding computer graphics to make clothes look as realistic as possible and respond to either the character moving or the weather.

From here, the students were then split in to two groups.

Group 1 spent time with Dr Louise Dennis and completed some work with Lego Robot Mars Rovers.

Two students from Laurus Ryecroft hold their Lego Rovers at the University of Manchester Computer Science department.

They had to complete some challenges such as programming the robots to move autonomously and only change direction if they could sense they were going to crash into an obstacle.

Students from Laurus Ryecroft control Lego Rovers at the University of Manchester Computer Science department.

Meanwhile, group 2 completed a tour of the Cognitive Robotics Lab with Dr. Francesco Semeraro.

Dr Semeraro showed the students four different types of robots, starting with robots that had very dexterous arms that could sense, pick up and them move objects from one area to another.

Next, students were shown two socially cognitive robots. They were fascinated to watch as the first robot answered their questions and reacted to their inputs, it even laughed when they tickled it!

A robot in front of a banner about Cognitive Robotics at the University of Manchester during a trip for Laurus Ryecroft students.

The final robot of the tour simulated a person’s face and could change facial expression, race, its voice and interact through speech with the person in front of it.

The groups then swapped over so they could explore both sides of the department.

Our trip to UoM was a memorable day and a great insight for students into the exciting developments happening within the industry.

Students’ behaviour was excellent throughout the day and they certainly now have an increased thirst for Computer Science and Robotics!

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