Harper Adams University Design A Robot

Harper Adams University logo

Harper Adams University Design A Robot

Young robot designers reap rewards at 2015 competition

Posted 30 June 2015

Young robot designers from throughout the UK showcased their talents at Harper Adams University this week, with one being crowned Young Innovator of the Year 2015.

Teenagers were challenged to submit a design to answer the question “What could robots do for us in the future?”

“We wanted to embrace the innovative power of young people’s imaginations”, said competition organiser Lorraine Westwood. “The entries were judged on the ideas and the entrants’ ability to convey them using a poster, video or website – no method was given preference.

“There were some wonderfully creative ideas, but also some incredibly insightful, practical ones. Each and every entrant is to be congratulated for the time and effort they put into the competition, it was a pleasure to review all of the ideas.”

Shortlisted entrants were invited to the university for a prize-giving on June 29th, where they were welcomed by television presenter and engineering enthusiast Rob Bell, who has fronted BBC2’s Engineering Giants and Channel Five’s Underground Britain.

Before congratulating the winners, Rob gave a short talk on embracing “stupid”.

“My name is Rob Bell, I’m a television presenter, I’m an engineer and from time to time, I can be quite stupid…But stupid isn’t uncommon. Stupid can be the way you feel when you are experiencing something for the first time. It can be the way we feel when we are tackling a difficult problem. It is an emotion associated with the learning process. We are stupid and then we are not. So stupid is absolutely fine.

“The only problem with stupid is the emotion that runs alongside it – fear. We are supposed to be afraid of stupid, to get it over with as soon as we can. One way to do that is to avoid entering into new scenarios and new experiences. But then nothing would change, we wouldn’t progress. I think you will all agree that there is no point living life like that. And the reason I know you will agree is because you entered the Young Innovator Awards – you were not afraid of stupid. So the best way to avoid the fear of doing new things is to embrace stupid!”