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KCLSU Awards Nominees 2024: Meet KCL Robotics

Science Editor Jana Bazeed presents KCL Robotics, a nominee at the King’s College Students’ Union (KCLSU) Awards 2024. With the awards set for 28 May at the De Vere Connaught Rooms, Roar will introduce its readers to some of the distinguished nominees.

KCL Robotics is the leading robotics society at King’s College London (KCL). The society is focused on exploring future global opportunities for students in the field, holding a wide range of events and workshops throughout the year, and playing host to KCL’s very own Mars Rover competition team. This year, the society was nominated for ‘Group of the Year’ at the KCLSU awards.

Adam Axelrod, incoming KCL Robotics president and this year’s Rover Team Lead, is honoured and proud of the society’s nomination, highlighting their outreach activities:

“[We are] very proud of all the people from many different age groups we managed to reach and share our love of robotics with!”

This year, the society hosted a wide range of activities and events, targeting both KCL students and members of the wider London community. These included their popular 3D design and printing workshops, guiding students through the ins-and-outs of designing custom parts using the Computer Aided Design software Fusion 360 and using 3D printers to bring their designs to reality.

“We were especially pleased with a turnout of more than 40 students, many of [whom] provided glowing feedback,” noted Axelrod, “All sorts of models were printed, from Pokémon to mechanical devices.”

A flagship activity for the society is the KCL Mars Rover competition team, which competes annually at the National Olympus Mars Rover Trials hosted by AIRBUS and RAL Space. Due to the high number of applicants, this year, the society hosted a robotic arm-design competition to select the team. Axelrod is optimistic about this year’s team performance at the upcoming national competition, taking place this summer:

“This year’s rover is in development and well on the way to victory at this year’s competition in July.”

Image courtesy of KCL Robotics.

The society is known for having regular outreach events and workshops, aiming to boost public interest in robotics. Of these activities, the team cites their Robotic Arm Workshops as their proudest achievement, having put in lots of work to design easy-to-use kits from scratch.

“We worked very hard to develop and create robotic arm kits that our members came along and assembled into their own miniature robotic arms. This was probably our proudest moment due to the amount of work we put into the kits as we designed everything from scratch. The feedback from this workshop was also amazing.”

The group ran their two most popular workshops at this year’s Surgical Innovation Society Conference, hosted by the KCL Surgical Innovation Society in April. The workshops proved to be very popular with attendees, receiving a lot of sign-ups.

The group also ran a simplified version of their Robotic Arm Workshop at the King’s Festival of Artificial Intelligence earlier this month, receiving overwhelmingly positive feedback from participants’ parents.

“Children aged 8-12 formed teams and took part in a simplified version of our robotic arm workshop. They were all thoroughly engaged and completely surprised us with how capable they were! We had to invent extra puzzles for them to complete. They all ended up with working arms that they themselves had built which they were very proud of. We were very proud of them too!”

Looking to the near future, the group will be running a workshop at the end of June where attendees will learn to build racing drones.

“These drones are the real deal, built from carbon fibre and capable of flying at speeds at over 70mph. We will be controlling them through the use of onboard cameras and specialised goggles so that we get a first person view of exactly what the drone is seeing in real time.”

For more information on KCL Robotics and their events, check out their Instagram. We wish them all the best at the upcoming awards!

Keep up with Roar’s coverage of the 2024 KCLSU Awards on our Instagram on Tuesday, 28 May from 5:00 PM.

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