The Science & Engineering Saturday Club at the University of Westminster, run for 14 weeks, offered students the opportunity to experience STEM fields solving problems in robotics. Throughout the year, students had the chance to build a variety of robots, and to discover more about the field through several cultural trips such as the visit of the Robots exhibition at London’s Science Museum.
On 11 March, the University of Westminster’s Chancellor Lady Sorrell organised the National Saturday Club Trust Masterclass for Science & Engineering at renowned designer firm Sebastian Conran Studios.
During the event, Sebastian Conran talked about his experience working with Concorde and his latest projects in collaboration with Sheffield Robotics to create the robot MiRo. After the class, he gave attendees a challenge to create a new design of a robot with a possible application.
The competition was won by Westminster’s 2nd year Electronic and Electrical Engineering BEng student Alina-Irina Serban and 3rd year Electronic Engineering BEng student Ben Skidmore who designed the robot ‘CARA’.
The robot was designed as a children companion aimed at providing support during consultation for children who fear doctors. The robot was presented as a device including verbal communication, medical and psychological testing sensors, pulse, weight, height and basic blood analysis.
Alina-Irina Serban, one of the two winning students, said about the event: “The entire experience was very inspiring, I have learned how designing a product and the engineering behind the device are so well combined into a final item that is more appealing to the customers. I am really happy that I have volunteered for the Saturday Club to mentor the teenagers - possible future students of our University – in STEM subjects while I also had the opportunity to improve my skills on communication, explaining how things work, learning new things and, well, winning a robot design competition.”
Ben Skidmore also shared his thoughts on this experience: “Being into the Sebastian Conran studios and seeing their designs in progress was very enlightening as it showed the exciting new ideas being developed, not just for homeware but for devices which can help people.”
Speaking about the Masterclass, Chancellor Lady Sorrell commented: “The Club this year focused on robotics, Sebastian's Masterclass bought what they had been discovering and learning to life by showing them live projects in his studio and workshop and explaining how he works, it was a chance for them to see the career possibilities that could be open to them in the future."
Photo Credits: The Saturday Club Trust/Jo Mieszkowski, @natsatclub