Festival of Robotics Evaluation report

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Festival of Robotics


E
valuation
report


February 2010




















Bella Williams and Laura Grant






2

Contents


1

Introduction

................................
................................
................................
..............

3

1.1

Background

................................
................................
................................
...........................

3

1.2

The festival

................................
................................
................................
............................

3

2

The evaluation

................................
................................
................................
..........

5

2.1

Evaluation themes

................................
................................
................................
................

5

2.2

Evaluation questions

................................
................................
................................
.............

5

2.4

Evaluation methodology

................................
................................
................................
.......

5

3. Findings: Audiences

................................
................................
................................
......

6

3.1


Observations

................................
................................
................................
........................

6

Robomania

................................
................................
................................
................................
.....

6

3.2


Comments wall

................................
................................
................................
....................

8

Feelings and impressions

................................
................................
................................
................

8

Science fiction

................................
................................
................................
................................
.

8

Human characteristics

................................
................................
................................
....................

8

Functions of robots

................................
................................
................................
.........................

8

Science

................................
................................
................................
................................
............

9

Gender

................................
................................
................................
................................
............

9

Crowds

................................
................................
................................
................................
............

9

Robots are great

................................
................................
................................
.............................

9

3.3

MOSI events

................................
................................
................................
..........................

9

3.4


Questionnaires

................................
................................
................................
...................

11

Long questionnaire

................................
................................
................................
.......................

12

Short questionnaire

................................
................................
................................
......................

15

3.5


Trafford Centre: Robots in the Home

................................
................................
................

17

3.6


Madlab events

................................
................................
................................
...................

17

3.7

Roaming with Robots

................................
................................
................................
..........

18

3.8

Evening events

................................
................................
................................
....................

18

3

Findings: Researchers

................................
................................
..............................

19

3.1

Questionnaire

................................
................................
................................
.....................

19

Questionnaire sample

................................
................................
................................
..................

19

Nature of festival involvement

................................
................................
................................
.....

19

Motivations

................................
................................
................................
................................
..

21

Support

................................
................................
................................
................................
.........

21

Impacts

................................
................................
................................
................................
.........

22

Successes and challenges

................................
................................
................................
.............

22

4

Conclusions

................................
................................
................................
.............

23

4.1

Successes and challenges

................................
................................
................................
...

24

5.2

Impacts
................................
................................
................................
................................

25

Appendix
-

questionnaire data

................................
................................
.......................

25

Questionnaire samples by age

................................
................................
................................
.....

25

Questionnaire responses

................................
................................
................................
..............

28

Evaluation questionnaires

................................
................................
................................
............

31



3

1

Introduction

1.1

Background

The Festival of Robotics was part of the Manc
hester Science Festival in late October 2009 and
formed the final flagship activity of Walking with Robots, a three year EPSRC
-
funded project which
aimed to bring together roboticists and artificial intelligence researchers with public engagement
specialis
ts, allowing the public to discover more about current robotics research.


Manchester Science Festival was a nine
-
day event which took place from the
24
th

October

to the
1
st

November

across the city. The week of the festival coincided with half term, and
many of the
activities were aimed at families. The Festival of Robotics events took place at the beginning of the
Science Festival on Saturday 24
th
, Sunday 25
th
, Monday 26
th

and Tuesday 27
th

October 2009. While
many of the events took place at the Museum o
f Science and Industry (MOSI), some events took
place at other venues around the city.

1.2

The festival

The festival comprised fifteen events and/or activities. A brief description of each is given
below:


1.

Robomania (Sat
-
Tues, MOSI special exhibition gal
lery)

A demonstration and hands
-
on
exhibition

about everything robotic
.

Many of the exhibits were
research projects that allowed the public to see the real state of robotics research and meet the
people who worked with robots
. The days that the various exh
ibitors were present are listed in the
table below:


Exhibitor

Exhibit

Sat

Sun

Mon

Tue

Astrium

Mars Rover







Ashley Green

Space Robots







Sheffield Uni

Search and Rescue Robots









Chris Peel

Butterfly







Kre8

Arduino







Bristol Rob
otics Lab

e
-
pucks









Robothespian

Robothespian







Reading University

Space Robots








Uni Wales Aberystwyth

Autonomous boat







CBBC/Ymogen

Pedro









First Lego League

LEGO







Queen Mary Uni London

Magic of computer science







Uni Hertfordshire

Human interaction







UWE

Robot or Nobot









2.

Pub Guide to Robots (Sat evening, MOSI café)

Robotics themed pub quiz for a
dults and teenagers

(16+) held in the MOSI café.


3.

Robot hack day (Saturday, Madlab)

O
ld electronic junk a
nd toys
were taken

apart

at Madlab

and put back together again as... robots
.

This day
-
long hands
-
on w
orkshop

was aimed at a
dults, teenagers, and families 11+
.


4.

Footballing robots build and tournament (Saturday evening, Madlab)


4

R
obo
-
footballer
s

were built
by participants and played as part of a

team tournament with other
robo
-
footballers
.

Robots were a
dapt
ed

over several rounds to win their

team the highest goal
difference.
This
hands
-
on activity

was for a
dults

and

teenagers 1
4
+
.


5.

Build a bugbot (Sat and Su
n, MOSI)

During these 45 minute workshops participants built their

own Valentino Braitenberg
-
inspired

robot
that

ran towards or away from light
.
This activity was for f
amilies 11+
.


6.

Brain in a bag (Sat, MOSI)

In these 45 minute hands
-
on workshops particip
ants made used household items to illustrate how
signals are carried across neural networks. This

activity

was for f
amilies 11+
.


7.

Robot Scenes (Sun evening, tv21)

A film clip and discussion evening at science fiction
-
themed bar, tv21. Science broadcaster N
oel
Sharkey

and leading researchers and roboticists

were available to discuss topics on robotics. Adult
discussion evening (18+), which was also open to accompanied children.


8.

Sweet computer workshop (Sun, MOSI)

Forty
-
five minute workshop which used sweet
s and a game to illustrate how computers learn. This
workshop was a hands
-
on activity for families 11+


9.

Walking With Robots: what are the questions? (Tue evening, Cafe Couture, Manchester
Museum)

A

Café Scientifique

discussion evening

for adults and teena
gers

about current issues in robotics.


10.

IET professional networking event (Mon evening, MDDA)

Networking event

for professionals working in the field of robotics an
d adjacent disciplines (science
communication, design, programming, engineering, software, e
tc).
Attendance was
by
invitation

only
.


11.

Robots in therapy and play (Mon, MOSI)

These 15 minute sessions showed how
robots can be used in play activities to encourage social

interaction skills in children
with special needs (e.g. autism).
Participants then

had the
ch
ance to
interact with the robot. These workshops were aimed at families 5+.


12.

Creepy crawly robots (Mon, Tue MOSI)

Hour and a half workshop in which participants built their own jumping robot frog
using simple
mechanical
mechanisms
, then tested
it to see whose could jump the highest without breaking. The
activity was a hands
-
on workshop for children 8
-
12 and accompanying adults.



13.

Teach a robot to act and speak (Tue, MOSI)

In these 15 minute workshops

participants l
earn
ed

about how the robot perc
eives the world and
what sort of movements and speech it can produce.
They then
tried

to combine the robot
perceptions, movements and speech to teach it to act by itself
. This event was for families 11+.


14.

Robots in the home (Mon, Trafford Centre)

In this i
nformal café scientifique Dr Sam Wane presented some robots that visitors might find in
their homes. Audience members

also
had

the opportunity to meet some robots.

This talk was aimed
at families 11+.


15.

Busking


roaming with robots

In festival venues acros
s the city
, a robot busking programme to fit in with the Manchester Science
Festival busking programme.


5

2

The evaluation

2.1

Evaluation themes

The evaluation of the Festival of Robotics ran alongside the overall evaluation of the Manchester
Science Festival
Programme, supporting the main programme objectives, while also determining
how well the specific objectives of Walking
with

Robots were met.


The Festival of Robotics evaluation focused on participation, delivery and impacts of the festival
programme, lo
oking both at the festival audiences and at the scientists and engineers from the
Walking With Robots partnership who were involved in programme delivery.

2.2

Evaluation questions

The evaluation addressed the following questions:


1.

Participation

a.

How many p
eople did
the Festival of Robotics programme

reach?

b.

What was the audience demographic for
Festival of Robotics activities
?

c.

How did this compare to the demographic data for the Science Festival overall?

d.

What proportions of roboticists who participated were

academics? Postgraduate
students?

e.

Undergraduate students?

f.

What were their motivations for participating in the programme?


2.

Delivery

a.

Were the activities interesting/engaging?

b.

Was the science/engineering pitched at the right level?

c.

What were the best and wo
rst aspects of the activities?

d.

What good practice and lessons can be shared?

e.

What were the areas of expertise of those who delivered the programme?


3.

Impacts

a.

Did audiences learn more about robotics research?

b.

Did audiences develop any new skills?

c.

What was th
e impact on interest in science and engineering?

d.

What was the impact on interest in science and engineering in school/HE, and
careers?

e.

What was the impact on attitudes towards robotics?

f.

How did the experiences of academics and students involved in the fest
ival vary?

g.

To what extent did the festival lead to the establishment of new partnerships and
collaborations?


2.4

Evaluation methodology

The main evaluation had five elements:

1.

Observation
of each event, capturing audience numbers, indications of engagement

and
notable comments. These observations also formed part of the Manchester Science Festival
evaluation, and followed the same schedule as observations for other festival events;

2.

Attitudes were captured through
audience questionnaires,

completed by a samp
le of
participants at events.

3.

Short comments and sound
-
bites were captured from audience members through
Vox pops
,
either using a flip video camera or a digital voice recorder;


6

4.

At social events, where questionnaires can be intrusive,
quote cards

were used
to capture
the opinions of audience members;

5.

Roboticist questionnaires

allowed those who delivered the festival events to give feedback
on their experiences. The questionnaire was also circulated in electronic form after the
event.


In addition to these, f
eedback was also collected on a comment wall in the main hall at MOSI during
the Robomania event, and additional interviews were conducted following some of the science
busking events as part of a student research project.


The different methods were emplo
yed at different events as appropriate. A summary of the Festival
of Robotics events and the methods used to evaluate each one is outlined below.


Event

Observation

Questionnaires

Vox pops

Quote cards

Robomania at MOSI








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3.
Findings
: Audiences

3.1


Observations

Robomania

Well the event’s changed the way I feel about robotics, in that having looked at the
examples around the room,

some of them are quite attainable, so for the parents of a child
who’s interested in robots, and has been for some years, it now appears that you really can
get some genuine robotic kit to help him develop further, and this has been good because it’s
show
n him examples of that.


Robomania was the centrepiece of the Festival of Robotics. It was held in the main exhibition space
on the ground floor at MOSI. It
consisted of 13 displays

by robotics researchers from across the UK.


Observations were made appro
ximately every hour to give an indication of the number of visitors
and how visitor numbers varied. We also noted the approximate male


female ratio, the
approximate percentage of visitors with visible disabilities and the approximate percentage of
visito
rs from non
-
white ethnic backgrounds.


The mean percentage of male visitors counted was 55, while the mean percentage of female visitors
was 45. As MOSI’s published figures show that their visitors were 51% female in 2007, the number

7

of Male visitors to R
obomania may be slightly higher than for other exhibitions. Ten percent (mean
percentage) of visitors were of non
-
white European origins, which slightly

higher than the 3
-
5% of
visitors expected from MOSI’s visitor data.


Our

observations do not give a c
lear way of estimating visitor numbers as it is unclear how long
people spent in the exhibition space. During the observations it was noted that some families were
double
-
counted, so had either spent over an hour in the exhibition or had left the exhibitio
n and
returned later.


The sum of the visitors counted is 2683, so if each visitor spent an average of 1 hour in the hall then
the total numbe
r of visitors would have been 2
683 over four days. MOSI estimate the total number
of visitors to the Special Exhib
itions Gallery to be 2120. Based on this estimate the average time
spent in Robomania by visitors was 1 ¼ hours.


Visitors to the exhibition were mostly families and around 50% of the visitors counted were children
under 12. Typically around 37% of MOSI
visitors are aged under 12
(
http://www.mosi.org.uk/media/33951456/traveltourismfactsheets.pdf
)
. As only 20% of visitors to
the Manchester Science Festival were children aged

0
-
16, the percentage of visitors aged under 12
years was particularly high for Robomania. The high number of young visitors to the museum during
the festival is likely to be due to half term holidays, which coincided with the exhibition.


The graph below
shows the results of our hourly observations:




Visitor numbers were generally highest at midday and at 3pm; before and after lunch. During the
observations it was noted that visitors relied heavily on interaction with the roboticists for
engagement, and

that when the roboticists began to tire then visitor numbers fell. This may explain
the sharp decrease in numbers on Tuesday, which was very busy early in the day.


Exhibits which drew a crowd were noted by the observers. Popular exhibits were Robothespi
an and
the CBBC Zooks stand.


8

What stood out for me about this event is the robot, the big one that sings [robothespian],
and we can programme it to do different things, because I suppose apart from watching
Robocop I’ve never actually seen something live
like that, so that’s really good.

Yes I think we will continue to talk about robotics after the event. I’ve got a 15 year old, a
twelve year old and a two year old here, and they’re all interested and they’re all finding
something to interest them, so I th
ink it will be ongoing.


3.2


Comments
wall

The comments wall, located in the Special Exhibition Gallery which housed Robomania, collected
162
comments over

the four days. A few comments were irrelevant or referred to other areas of the
museum, but most we
re about visitor experience of the Walking with Robots sessions at MOSI.
Comments were sorted into themes, which are summarised below (NB all quotes are reproduced
complete with spelling mistakes):

Feelings and impressions

A number of comments described ho
w visitors felt about their experience or the event, as
happy
,
fun

or
cool
. A related group of comments described the event experience as
interesting

and said
that they felt
intrigued
,
amazed

and
fascinated
.

I am happy in here

This is wicked

Science f
icti
on

Some comments related to robots in science fiction, and showed that visitors to the exhibition
related their experience there back to their prior associations with robots from film and TV.

One day, robits will rule the world

C3PO isn’t here or R2D2

Hum
an characteristics

Some comments focussed on how human
-
like the robots were, talking about how they could
walk
,
talk

or
interact

with people. A number of comments also focussed on robot ‘
intelligence
’.

Robots can look like real people and some don’t.

Robo
ts are much more clever than I thought

Robots are almost human xo

Robots can walk talk and move. I was very scared when it started moving but then I started
laughing


Functions of robots

A theme about how robots were controlled and programmed emerged clea
rly from the comments,
along with descriptions of particular features or functions of particular robots such as lasers and
sensors. A number of comments described different ways that robots could be used either now or in
the future.

The robot was fascinat
ing/should help with prophetic limbs


Robots can also sense your hand coming and they move away


9

Robots can move and communicate with themselves. They communicate using invisible
flashes like the remotes for our tv.

Robots can help people when there traped

somewhere

Science

Some comments focussed on science in general, and described an interest in science following the
science festival.

I learnt that science can be fun

Technology can do a lot of things to make our life better and to mack a change

Science i
s really cool and it is better than history

Gender

A few comments referred to either science or robots being for girls as well as for boys.

Robots arent just for boys

Girls can love robots too

Science is really fun and robitic business can be a fun activit
y for girls too

Crowds

A number of comments stated that the hall was very busy, and that the crowds made it difficult to
see what was happening or to look at the robots.

When I walked in I couldn’t do anything because there were to many people and the tab
les
were too small

Robots are interesting but it is very busy here

When we first walked in everywhere was crowded and I felt left out

Robots are great

Many comments focussed on how much the visitors enjoyed seeing the robots.

All the robots were mind blow
ing and I wish to see them daily

Robots are mega ace


3.3

MOSI events

The booked sessions at MOSI were popular and each event ran several times. The numbers of
participants observed at the events is summarised below.


Event

Visitor numbers

Number of sess
ions

Visitor numbers

Build a Bugbot

15 / 21 / 25 /23 / 25 / 29

6

138

Brain in a bag

9 /35 / 20

3

64

Creepy Crawly Robots

21 / 15 / 22 / 15

4

73

Teach a robot to act and speak

Approx 17 per session

6

101

The sweet computer

17 / 26 / 9 / 40

4

92

Robots

in therapy and play

Approx 16 per session

6

94


Build a Bugbot

was attended mostly by families, although an adult couple took part in one session.
The first session had a quiet and focussed atmosphere, but changing the layout of the room from
boardroom s
tyle to small groups around tables helped to develop a livelier atmosphere with lots of

10

interaction. Challenges included over
-
crowding in some of the sessions, and the attendance of
unaccompanied young children in the sessions, w
hich were designed for ages

11+.

I’m here with my son who is just coming up to 13. It’s something he’s particularly interested
in and he’s looking at having a career in science and in robotics. And I think we will continue
to discuss robotics after the event; it’s certainly opened h
is mind to what robotics is all
about, I think, and he’s looked quite differently at the way robots work, with the use of the
torch and the light and everything, so it’s been
really useful
.

A key thing that I learned today is that robots are not actually r
emote controlled, they are
actually
something that can be programmed to move around themselves and they respond
to their environment, and that was something I just didn’t realise. And that’s going to be
very useful because my daughter is absolutely fascina
ted by robots, so I can obviously
communicate the truth to her.


Brain in a Bag

was mostly attended by families, but a few PGCE students also attended one of the
sessions. The workshops were fun, lively and interactive, but the talk at the beginning of the

session
which seemed rather long and formal for the age group of the audience and for the science
-
festival
setting.


These observations were reflected in the comments from the visitors who said that what they
enjoyed most was seeing the children involved

in the activities, the interactive nature of the session
(particularly the snap game) and learning through the simulations.

Joining in with the activities (36
-
45, female)

Stimulation of neutral connections (46
-
55, male)


There were only a few comments on

how the event could be improved. Some felt that the session
was not long enough, but a number felt that the talk at the beginning of the session was too long
and complex for some of the children.

Too short! (36
-
45, female)

Talk at start v long! Lost a lo
t of the kids (26
-
35, female)

Content too detailed for younger children (16
-
25, female)


There was a suggestion for making the initial talk more interactive.

Physical model of chessboard rather than computer generated (36
-
45, male)


Creepy Crawly Robots

wa
s attended by families, who worked together towards a competition at the
end of the session. All those who attended seemed very engaged in the session, particularly during
the competition at the end. Challenges were the length of the session, and that the
link between the
activity and robots was unclear to the audience, although the connection was expressly mentioned
during the later sessions. While the activity was advertised as 8+, many of the children who
attended were younger than this, and needed a lot

of help from adults in their groups to complete
the task.

The thing that stood out about the event for me was the interaction. The adults get involved
with the children really and it’s something that you do together.


When asked what they enjoyed most ab
out the sessions participants commented on interacting
with the children, working together on the crafting activity and the competition at the end.

Interacting with children (66+, male)

Frog jumping competition (36
-
45, male)


11

Our frog felicity coming toget
her (16
-
25, female)


The Sweet Computer

was attended by families. The atmosphere was attentive during the initial
explanations and lively during the interactive session. There were some problems with the ticketing
for this event which led to some small and

some large groups as the wrong times were printed on
some tickets. The event worked well with either a small group, which allowed individuals to be more
involved it the activity, or as a large event. Again, some of the adults had not associated the sessio
n
with robotics and were not aware that the event was part of the Festival of Robotics.

What stood out for me about the whole event was just how interactive it was, seeing all the
kids getting stuck in and having fun.


Participants who completed questionn
aires said that they enjoyed the interactive nature of the
session, the strategy and learning the principles of AI.

The fact it was interactive and fun (36
-
45, female)

The learning of strategy (26
-
35, female)

How the robots learns (56
-
65, male)


The
Teach

a Robot to Act and Speak

session was short, and relatively full, with an attentive and
focussed atmosphere. The audience seemed unsure what to expect at the beginning of the sessions
but became more relaxed once there were opportunities for interaction. T
hese sessions were
attended by parents with young children, possibly because so few booked sessions were listed on
the programme as being suitable for young children. There were some difficulties with people
finding the room and arriving at sessions late w
hich were quite disruptive, but a strict door policy
allowed disruptions to be minimised in the later sessions.

What stood out for me was the opportunity for the children to interact with the equipment
and the learning. I always think that people learn mo
st about what they actually feel and
experience.

I thought the actual animal robot actually moving and actually changing direction, so that
was really useful actually because it builds their confidence that they can actually control
what it’s doing. And th
ey also build up the trust that when they clap it stops or it changes
direction so it just builds their confidence up.


Robots in Therapy and P
lay

followed
a similar format to

Teach a Robot to Act and Speak, with a
session describing the robots and the res
earch which involved them, followed by an opportunity for
the children to interact with the robots. Several of the audience came to the session because they
had an interest in autism and wanted to find out more about the research. Despite a few technical
h
itches with the robots (one of the robots did not work in some of the sessions as its battery would
not charge) the sessions were well
-
received by a very engaged audience.

I think it’s great seeing how the children interact with the robot. Just their resp
onses really.
That was good to see.

Well, I enjoyed that one, KASPAR, as my son here is autistic and he responded really well to
him. It is great to think that these robots could be used to help kids like my son.

3.4


Questionnaires

Visitors to all events
completed questionnaires about their experiences. In booked sessions
questionnaires were handed to participants, while in Robomania questionnaires were placed on a
table at the back of the hall and a number were completed by self
-
selecting visitors.



12

Two
questionnaires were used: long questionnaires were used for adults and children over 12 years,
while short questionnaires were used for younger children, and in a number of the shorter events,
where the longer questionnaires seemed less appropriate. In som
e events long questionnaires were
completed by some of the younger participants


Graphs show the age ranges of those who completed the questionnaires, and these reflected the
ages of event participants well, although no visitors over 45 completed questionn
aires in
Robomania.


The numbers of male and female questionnaire respondents for each event are in the table below
The ages of respondents for each event are included in the appendix. In some of the shorter
workshops participants were only asked to compl
ete the short questionnaires, but in other
workshops these were used to gather feedback from under 12s.


Event

Number of male
respondents

Number of female
respondents

Short
questionnaires

Long
questionnaires

Robots in therapy and play

12

17




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y⁲obo瑳









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Long questionnaire

The long questionnaires included six open response questions about th
e events. These were
analysed to look for emerging themes. Although participants were asked about their experiences for
each event separately a number of themes emerged which were common to several or all of the
sessions.


Please tell us what you enjoyed m
ost about the event?

In activities with a competitive aspect, many of the participants stated that they enjoyed the
competition
.

Playing snap in a group of seven

(Brain in a bag)

Winning!

(Footballing robots)

The contest

(Creepy crawly robots)


In all of
the workshops some participants focussed on
social aspects

of the events such as working
as a team or working together with children as part of a family activity.

How excited my daughter is by it all
(Brain in a bag)

Meeting nutty people
.
(Footballing rob
ots)

Seeing the children ge
t involved.
(The sweet computer)

Working together

(Creepy crawly robots)

Involving the children

(Teach a robot to act and speak)



13

Participants, particularly those from Brain in a bag, The sweet computer and Creepy crawly roborts,

said that they enjoyed
learning about scientific aspects

such as the models and principles outlined
in the workshops.

The logical explanation
(Brain in a bag)

Apart from the sweets…learning more about the ideas behind AI

(The sweet computer)

Learning abo
ut robotics

(Creepy crawly robots)


Some participants focussed on items that they
fabricated

during the workshops or the process of
applying principles

they learned.

Making the bugbot

(Build a bugbot)

The crafting part

(Creepy crawly robots)

Teaching the
robot things

(Teach a robot to act and speak)


A number of the participants indentified
interactive

or hands
-
on aspects as what they enjoyed the
most.

Joining in with the activities

(Brain in a bag)

The fact it was interactive and fun

(The sweet computer)


A small number of participants described the simple,
clear explanations

of the topics discussed.

The presenter made it very understandable

(The sweet computer)


Questionnaires completed in
Robomania

tended to focus on the exhibit which visitors had enjoye
d
the most.
Robothespian

was mentioned most. Visitors also said that they enjoyed the
spider robot
,
LEGO

league
,
swarm robots
,
excomars
,
robot on the road

and the
CBBC stand
.


What you enjoyed least or what could be improved

These responses were specific
to events and few themes related across the workshops. In each of
the
events

respondents said that they felt nothing could be improved. Some of the comments
related to logistical aspects such as queuing for tickets or signage.

Visitors to Robomania focuss
ed
on robots which were not working during their visit, and the occasional visitor mentioned individual
exhibits, although no one exhibit stood out. There was a suggestion that more stands would
improve the event.


Do you think any of this relates to yo
ur own life? Why or why not?

Of those who answered this question (n = 70), 11 responded with an unqualified ‘no’ while 7
responded with an unqualified ‘yes’. Three answered that they were ‘unsure’. Those respondents
who qualified their answers all related
their experience to their own lives, and their answers related
to several themes:


A number of participants felt that they had a better
understanding of science

and of the world
around us.

Making you think more about how things in our everyday life actuall
y work.

(Creepy crawly
robots)

Yes, well we all have neurons and how they work is fascinating.

(Brain in a bag)


Some participants felt they had a better
understanding of technology

around us: how and where it
is used.


14

Yes, because everyone uses computers

all the time.

(The sweet computer)

Yes, robots being used in different industries to test new technologies etc.

(Teach a robot to
act and speak)


Participants said that they felt able to
talk to children about science

or engineering more easily.
These inc
luded responses given by teachers who hoped to use some of the explanations in the
classroom.

More to talk to the kids about also when building things

(Creepy crawly robots)

Relates to teaching aspect


great ideas to take back to the classroom

(Brain in
a bag)



Some respondents described an appreciation of how robots are
part of our lives

and how they may
be involved the future.

It does because technology will evolve because of robots.

(Brain in a bag)

Yes


use robots in everyday life

(Robomaina)


A nu
mber of participants related the ideas in the workshops and exhibition hall to their
own work

or
careers.

I am an engineer so yes.

(Brai
n in a bag)

Yes! Team building / great decisions planning / management

(Footballing robots)

Yes, because I might decide

to study robotics

(Robomania)


Has the event changed how you feel about robotics? In what way?


Some of the visitors asked did feel that the event had changed the way they felt about robotics.


Several respondents described robots as seeming more
fun
:

We
think they are fun

(Creepy crawly robots)

Helped me remember science stuff can be fun

(The sweet computer)


A number of respondents described
liking

robots more, or felt that they seemed friendlier.

They seem more ‘approachable and friendlier’.

(Brain in a

bag)

Like them better

(Robomaina)


Some respondents felt that they were more
interested

in or curious about robotics.

Yes. It’s not all boring

(Creepy crawly robots)

Curiosity increased

(Brain in a bag)

Would like to know more

(The sweet computer)

I am in
terested and want to know more about robots (Robomania)


A further theme related to a better
understanding

of robots and their uses.

I can now see the same reason behind all of the research

(Brai
n in a bag)

Yes, easy to see how to learn.

(The sweet compute
r)

Better as can help with social aspects

(Teach a robot to act and speak)

Yes they help us to explore the world

(Robomania)


15


Did you learn something new at the event? If so, what?


Some respondents felt their learning related to the
methods

covered during

particular workshops.

That you can make loads out of scrap paper and bands

(Creepy crawly robots)

Learnt how to model a structure of the brain
(Brain in a bag)

Learn to know that you can actually teach a robot

(Teach a robot to act and speak)


Others resp
ondents focussed on the application of
principles
.

Balance of strength vs stress

(Creepy crawly robots)

Yes, how neurons work together

(Brain in a bag)

How not to repeat mistakes

(The sweet computer)


Some respondents considered
wider impacts

in their lea
rning experiences.

How it effects us in our life

(Brain in a bag)

How much work is going on in this field

(The sweet computer)

How far robots have come (Robomania)


In questionnaires from Robomania a number of the respondents also referred to learning tha
t
robots could talk

and to learning about
what a robot is
.

I didn’t think they could move or talk

Yes


more insight into mechanical configuration

Yes. The core of robotics / what is a robot etc.



(Robomania)



Short questionnaire

Short questionnaires we
re completed by under 12s. They were also used to gather feedback from
both adults and children on
Teach a Robot to Act and Speak

and
Robots in Therapy and Play
, which
were short events where longer questionnaires seemed inappropriate.


On the whole visit
ors enjoyed the Festival of Robotics events and gave very positive feedback.
Comments described the events as
fun
,
exciting

and
interesting
.


All of the questionnaires gave positive feedback for Robomania, and those that described the event
as neutral o
verall provided other positive comments saying that
nothing can be improved it was
exolont.


Robots in therapy and play was well received, but several comments suggested that it was
informative for older children and parents
. However, the feedback from the

event suggested that
younger children enjoyed the session, and that older children were the most critical. This was borne
out by the observations which showed that young children really enjoyed interacting with the
robots.



The responses to the Build a

Bugbot session were all positive although some older children (4 aged
14
-
16) commented that the robotics content was simplistic. One child commented that he wanted
to keep the robot he had built.


16


The questionnaire responses showed that audiences felt t
hey were likely to have an increased
interest in robotics which would continue after they left the festival. This response was less marked
in audiences who attended the Creepy crawly robots sessions, but these were less clearly connected
with robotics than

the other workshops.

Yeah, I think we’ll definitely talk about it on the way home because there’s loads of things
that they’ve never seen before, yeah my youngest likes robots and they can make one here
that moves


and they especially like this, I think
, where they can control the robots and so
on. (Robomania)


Most audiences felt that they were uninformed at the beginning of the sessions, and audiences in all
the events felt that they leaned more about robotics. Only one audience member (15 years) felt
that
they learned nothing, and stated that they would have like to see the robots in the session perform
more complex actions.


A number of respondents felt that they were more interested in science as a result of the Walking
with Robots event. The greate
st positive impact was seen in visitors to Robomania, Brain in a Bag
and The Sweet Computer.


Only one respondent said that they had become less interested in science, but stated in the open
responses that they had
learned that science could be fun
.


The

longer questionnaires asked respondents to give three words that described their experience of
the event. These responses are shown below. More frequently used words a
re represented by
larger print in the word clouds, which were created at
www.wordle.net




In this Wordle, the most common words ‘fun’ and ‘interesting’ have been removed to make some of
the other responses more visible.


17



3.5


Trafford Centre: Robots in the Home

This event was initially attended by 15

people; and one adult who had come especially for the event.
More people joined during the event, and the total number of visitors was 27 by the end. The
atmosphere was informal but focussed with questions being asked and informal discussion after the
ses
sion. There was a busking session also running in the Trafford Centre, which helped to keep
children entertained during the event, although keeping the parents engaged as children’s attention
wandered was a challenge for this session.


A number of people
spoke about their experience and their interest after the event. They expressed
a range of views on robotics. An older couple were interested in AI aspects, while two daughter
s

from a family of four expressed different views about robots, one saying that s
he loved the robots,
and the other stating that she would not like to have robot as a pet. An Asian family of three
generations discussed how a robot pet fulfilled the human need to touch and asked whether a robot
could give affection and therefore really
give people what they need. Another visitor who had come
along especially had a professional interest and was supportive of the event, saying public
discussions about robotics were important.

3.6


Madlab events

Robot Hack Day and Footballing Robots took pl
ace at Mad Lab on Saturday 24
th

and were attended
by young adults with an interest in technology. 28 people attended the Hack Day, of whom 22 were
male and six were female. The event was friendly and light hearted as people who had never met
before worked
together, rebuilding items to create robots.


The Footballing Robots competition which followed the Hack Day had a fun atmosphere and was
attended by 18 young adults, 13 male and 5 female. The event was well received.


18

For me personally I think it’s this
idea of actually hands on doing something, rather than just
thinking about doing it… …It’s maybe not impressive but you’ve got something to show for
an idea you had, it’s tangible. (Madlab participant, adult male)

3.7

Roaming with Robots

Stickers were give
n out to the children who were engaged with Robot Busking whenever possible
.
137 stickers were given out in total, and headcounts showed that around
250 people
were engaged
with the activities or observing
.
The observations were carried out during short pe
riods, while the
busking took place over a few hours, so this count is a large underestimate of the total number of
people who were involved. The headcounts took place over three 15 minute periods, and give an
indication of the number of people who were p
resent at any one time
.

The actual number of people
engaged is likely to
be around 800.



The audience was extremely varied, from toddlers to grandparents. At some points large crowds
gathered, and this attracted the attention of more people. Adults often
pointed out the busking to
children, encouraging them to engage, but other children would want to stop but be dragged away
by adults. Young children in particular were very engaged and became excited by the busking, asking
questions and wanting to see more
.

3.8

Evening events

Pub guide to Robots

Pub guide to robots followed a ‘pub quiz’ format and was attended by a mixed group (around 65%
male) which included roboticists from Walking with Robots and visitors. The event had a good,
relaxed atmosphere, but se
emed rushed at the end when the museum needed to close. Most
visitors seemed to have a strong prior interest in robotics interest in robotics.

Yes [I think this relates to my own life], interesting but I think what people perceive as AI is a
long way off.

Only

[relates to my own life]

if you create that robot that will get my beer from the fridge.

I think as robotics becomes more ubiquitous and the lines between embedded computers
and robotics become more blurred robotics will have a powerful effect on all

likes.

I always have a positive feel about robotics and it’s the same now

it was very good
-

but needs more robots, more time, more beer


Robot Scenes

This event took place in TV21 bar. The young adult audience had not come out for the robotics
event, and

the audience was cold at first. A number of people left at the beginning of the event, but
those who stayed participated and enjoyed the evening, warming up to the event well. Although the
audience were reluctant to participate with the larger group, each

table had interesting small
-
group
discussions.


This event took robotics out of the museum setting to a new audience, but the layout of the bar was
not ideal for the event, and the audience was relatively small. There was a noticeable generation
gap betw
een the ‘experts’ and the audience. 29 people attended the event, not including the
Walking with Robots team, and the mix was around 50 / 50 male and female.

I do not think [any of this relates to my own life] since I have not yet started playing with
rob
ots

Yea [I have an unanswered question] 80% of the robot clips shown were cyborgs? Whats the
difference



19

Related fields
9
17
8
15
18
0
5
10
15
20
Science
Engineering
Maths
Technology
Other
Robotics networking event

The Robotics Networking Event was attended by 35 adults (28 male, 6 female) who worked in
robotics or related areas. T
alks at

the start gave
those who attended a focus for their conversations
and Walking with Robots

team members
took a

facilitation role
,

introducing people
to one another
.
MDDA
, who hosted the event, usually expect 20
-
30 people for
networ
king evenings, so this wa
s
seen as a particularly well
-
attended event.


A few people who attended felt that there was not a clear objective to the evening, and people also
reported that they would have liked the opportunity to ask the speakers questions following the
talks.
Howev
er hosts MDDA felt that the event was a success because it attracted a much more
diverse range of people than would normally attend their events.


Walking with Robots: what are the questions?

17 people attended this event, but all were members of the Walk
ing with Robots team apart from
two members of the public: a father and son. The discussions during the session were intense, and it
was interesting to hear different points of view from a panel of experts, but the event would have
benefited from a larger
audience who would have been able to contribute more to discussions.


3

Findings:
Researchers

3.1

Questionnaire

Questionnaire sample

Twenty
-
four of the roboticists completed paper questionnaires about their experiences, and five of
the roboticists responded to

the survey by email. Of these 17 (59%) worked in academia, eight
worked in industry and two worked in education. Other professions included a TV producer, an
animation artist and other communications professionals.


Of those who were academics three were

professors, two were lecturers, four were research
associates or post
-
doc and six were PhD students. When asked which fields their work related to the
responses were varied. Other responses aside from science. Engineering
,

maths and technology
included co
mmunication, arts, media and space.
















Nature
of

20

festival involvement

In what ways are you supporting the festival?
1
17
1
14
4
1
1
1
4
0
2
4
6
8
10
12
14
16
18
Festival partner group
Leading an activity (excl education)
Leading an education activity
Delivering an activity
Other support for an activity
Delivering training
Identifying student volunteers
Internal communications
Administration
Other (please specify)

Are you delivering a new or exisitng activity?
9
13
8
Completely new activity
Existing activity but with changes
Existing activity with minimal or no
changes

Most of those included in the sample were leading or developing activities and there was a balance
between those delivering new and existing activities.



21

How did you find out about the festival?
2
2
10
10
1
3
0
5
10
15
Website
Twitter
Through
organiser
Collegue / work
related
Meeting
Word of mouth /
direct email
Most found out
about the events through their work or directly from the festival organisers.






















Over a third (41%) of those involved in the festival had worked with Walking with Robots previously,
while 59% were new to the partnership.

Motivations

Th
e principal motivation for being involved with the festival was to be part of an outreach activity,
engaging the public with either science, or robotics specifically. Others stated that they felt the
festival would be a fun activity, while some hoped to g
enerate interest in or show a particular
initiative or project.


Half (49%) of respondents felt that the festival work linked in with either the internal or external
strategies of their organisations, or to both. A further 14% were unsure, stating that it

may tie in
with either PR or networking objectives.

Support

All but one (96%) of the respondents said that they received good support and information prior to
the festival. One person said that compared with previous Walking with Robots events the level
of
information received was poor. Of those who were happy with the information they received a
number made comments or suggestions:

Was good! Maybe some kind of online info reporting/forum for organisers to exchange
information.

The number of people neede
d to be contacted was more than needed, one individual contact
would be much better.

Principially yes, maybe the age of the audience should be known better in advance.

Yes, wi
-
fi info was not published however.


Roboticists were asked whether they had need
ed direct contact with the festival director. Slightly
fewer than half (44%) said that they had needed direct contact, while the remainder (56%) said that

22

they had not. Those who had needed direct contact often stated that they had specific requirements
fo
r their exhibits such as special access or spatial requirements.


The preferred format for support and communication about the festival was direct contact with the
Festival of Robotics director. Less formal channels of communication were preferred and non
e of
the respondents cited either a toolkit or a training day as their preferred method of contact. Under
‘other’ formats respondents suggested other informal means of communication such as email or
informal conversations.

What is your preferred format for communication or support?
4
2
8
2
1
5
16
Direct communication with Science
Festival Director
Direct communication with Festival of
Robotics Director
Direct communication with
partner/organiser/venue coordinator
Informal drop-in session
Toolkit
Training session/day
Dedicated faculty or school festival
liaison point of contact
Online network/forum/information sharing
system
Other (please specify)

Impacts

Roboticists cited a wi
de range of positive impacts from taking part in the festival.




Enjoyment

Many of the roboticists said that taking part in the festival was an enjoyable and fun
experience which gave them satisfaction and provided a break from their usual routine.




Commun
ications skills

Communication skills such as experience of presenting were seen as a key impact of the
event. Roboticists felt that they had learned more about how to speak to people of all ages,
and had discovered more about how much children know and wha
t they can learn from
public engagement.




Increased exposure

Increased exposure of either an outreach initiative or a research project was seen as a key
impact of the project. Associated with this were comments about increased professional
exposure throug
h networking.




Informing research / work

A number of the roboticists felt that their experiences of watching the festival visitors
interact with the robots would directly inform their research or their work.


Successes and challenges

Successes


23

Many of th
e roboticists saw the enthusiasm of the audiences as a major success. A number of
respondents stated that the event had exceeded their expectations, that there had been a good
level of engagement and that the experience of seeing people enjoy themselves ma
de the hard
work worthwhile.


Some successes were specifically linked with research, such as seeing children and adults interested
in academic research, and learning from watching people mingle with robots. This was linked to
some unexpected outcomes about

the imaginative way that people interact with robots. Other
events had succeeded in specific objectives, such as those who attended learning new skills. The
robot busking succeeded in engaging the public well.


Challenges

A number of challenges were iden
tified by those who had delivered and presented events.




Technical problems

A number of the events experienced technical problems. These were not unexpected given
the nature of the events and were usually resolved quickly, however these presented a
challen
ge in a public engagement setting.




Age of audience

A number of the presenters found that the age of the audiences was not as they had
expected. In particular many family groups that attended events had young children. This
was a challenge for presenters
who were often delivering a complex topic to groups which
also included teenagers.





Organising / training

Most challenges were organisational difficulties that were specific to particular events.
Organising people into groups that worked well together, a
nd recruiting roboticists for
busking training were identified as some of these particular challenges.





Crowding

The festival was very busy, particularly in the main hall at MOSI. This was very tiring for the
roboticists, and the public quickly lost inte
rest in exhibits where they were not directly
engaged.


Further support from the festival

There were three suggestions for further ways that that the festival could help the organisational
needs of those involved with delivering the events.



Links and intr
oductions to other robotics events (or running more events like this)



More funding, and specific help with coordination and planning to obtain funding



Promotion of organisations / exhibits via festival materials or website



4

Conclusions

Overall, responses
to the Festival were positive from both audiences and deliverers. These
conclusions identify overarching successes and challenges with Festival delivery then highlight the
key impacts for visitors and researchers.


24

4.1

Successes and challenges

The festival was
well attended by a family audience and it was clear from observations (particularly
in the main hall at MOSI) that many of the visitors were families with children under 12 years. This
presented some challenges for the workshop events because many were lis
ted in the festival
programme as being suitable for children aged 11 years and over (Build a Bugbot, Brain in a Bag, The
Sweet Computer, Teach a Robot to Act and Speak) but were attended by children younger than the
recommended ages. For all of these event
s the modal age group was 10
-
11 years, but children as
young as five or six participated in most of them.


This was identified as a challenge by presenters, as the young children required attention at the
expense of the older children who might otherwise
have gained more from the workshop. The
visitor comments also reflected these difficulties, as parents felt that material was pitched too high
for the very young children and teenagers were critical of workshops being too simple. Workshops
which were liste
d in the festival programme as being suitable for younger children (Robots in
Therapy and Play, Creepy Crawly Robots) were very well attended and were booked up very quickly
(an extra Creepy Crawly Robots session was added during the festival), showing tha
t there was a
clear demand for events that were suitable for children aged 6
-
10.



In a setting such as MOSI where events are attended by families with young children it is difficult to
specify an audience because family groups often attend events together
. While events are often
designed with a particular age group in mind, the museum setting required that all workshops were
accessible to (accompanied) children. The workshop ticket desk found that it was difficult to limit
workshops to specific numbers of
children as whole families wanted to participate. Where a
guidance
-
age was given but whole families wanted to attend an event tickets were issued at the
volunteers’ discretion. Although volunteers did check regularly with festival of robotics coordinators
this led to mixed age
-
groups in workshops. As most of the workshops were designed for a school
audience where a specific age
-
range can be easily specified, presenters needed to work hard to
adapt them for mixed ages.


Robomania was a very busy event which

allowed the public to interact with real robotics research
projects, explained by scientists who could give clear, in
-
depth presentations of their work. Visitors
required a high level of interaction with the presenters at the stands to engage with many of

the
robots, and this was very tiring for the presenters. A number of visitors left the main hall because it
was too busy for them to engage with the presenters, but returned later when there were fewer
crowds. Stands where the presenters were absent tende
d to attract no visitors at all, and there were
clear declines in visitor numbers at exhibits where the presenters were tired. The change
-
over of
presenters on Sunday evening was an aspect of the event that worked particularly well, as the new
presenters w
ho showed exhibits on Monday and Tuesday were not already tired from the weekend
and so were better able to engage with visitors.


Capacity was also an issue for the workshops, which sold out quickly on the first two days. The
ticketing system was change
d to ensure that visitors could not pick up all their tickets at the
beginning of the day, and instead collected tickets 45 minutes before the start of each session. This
worked well, but some of the busier workshops still sold out quickly, and there were
some instances
when visitors were confused over which session they had tickets for.


The event ticket desk at MOSI was staffed by volunteers and was very busy during the festival. As
volunteers changed over daily making it difficult to ensure that they we
re all aware of hints and tips
for managing all events, leading to some confusion over tickets. Ideally an information desk
coordinator could have overseen the volunteers, but this was difficult on the event budget.



25

Events were run every evening of the F
estival of Robotics, and the events which were aimed at
Roboticists or visitors with a strong interest in robotics (Robotics Networking Event and Pub Guide
to Robots) were well
-
attended with a good atmosphere. The audience at Café Sci was very small,
altho
ugh the attendance of the Walking With Robots team allowed discussions to continue. Finding
an audience for a one
-
off event is often difficult, and events such as those at Madlab benefited from
additional support from partners in attracting an audience. Or
ganising the Café Sci event in
partnership with an existing local group could have provided an audience for the event, and would
have given some sustainability for those who attended and were interested in holding or attending
similar events in the future.



The Robot Scenes event presented a number of challenges as the venue layout made talks and
discussions difficult. Around half of the audience had not visited the bar with prior knowledge of the
event and were not a ‘science festival’ audience. Despite i
nitial discomfort there were interesting
discussions at many of the tables, and the event successfully presented ideas about the current
state of and future of robotics to a young adult audience who are difficult to reach through science
festivals and publ
ic engagement programmes. As with the Café Sci event, Robot Scenes would have
benefited from links with an existing local audience such as a local Science Fiction Society, giving
both a receptive audience for the festival event and the possibility of furth
er events in the future.

5.2

Impacts

Audiences at MOSI reported strong shifts in their attitudes to science and engineering following the
events, stating that they had become more interested in science. This shift was less strong for Teach
a Robot to Act
and Speak, which had experienced some technical problems during the event, and
which was attended by a very wide range of age groups.


Audiences also reported that they had learned a lot from the events. This shift was strongest for
Robomania, where questi
onnaires were completed by a self
-
selecting sample, and for Brain in Bag.
Learning in other events was also reported to be good. Audiences for Teach a Robot to Act and
Speak felt that they had learnt the least.


The robotics researchers showed enthusiasm
and commitment throughout the events, and went
about their public engagement in a professional manner. Many of the presenters were roboticists
rather than public engagement professionals, and this gave audiences a unique opportunity to
interact with real r
esearch projects. A number of families in the Robomania events and in some of
the workshops had travelled long distances from around the country to visit the festival. This was
particularly true of families with teenagers considering a career in robotics,
who had benefited
greatly from the opportunity to meet researchers and to experience the state of current research.

An event like this is great as my son is mad
-
keen on robots and so we travelled here for half
term. It
’s

great for him to meet people who wo
rk in this field.

(Robomania visitor)


The teenagers with an existing interest in robotics visited the festival with high expectations, and
were often the most critical audience; however the festival clearly provided them with a valuable
experience and may

inspire them to take their interests further and become the next generation of
Roboticists.

Appendix
-

questionnaire data


Questionnaire samples by age


26

Robots in therapy and play questionniares (n=27)
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
2
2
2
3
2
1
2
9
4
0
0
2
4
6
8
10
5 and under
6-7
8-9
10-11
12-15
16-25
26-35
36-45
46-55
56-65
long
questionnaire
short
questionnaire
Build a bugbot questionniares (n=39)
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
2
2
17
12
1
2
2
1
0
0
5
10
15
20
5 and under
6-7
8-9
10-11
12-15
16-25
26-35
36-45
46-55
56-65
long
questionniare
short
questionnaire
Teach a robot to act and speak (n=26)
0
0
1
0
1
0
1
4
2
0
0
0
0
4
7
4
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
2
4
6
8
5 and under
6-7
8-9
10-11
12-15
16-25
26-35
36-45
46-55
56-65
66+
long
questionniare
short
questionnaire






















































27

The sweet computer questionnaires (n=28)
0
0
0
0
2
1
2
4
4
2
0
0
1
4
7
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
2
4
6
8
5 and under
6-7
8-9
10-11
12-15
16-25
26-35
36-45
46-55
56-65
66+
long
questionnaire
short
questionnaire
Creepy crawley robots questionnaires (n=41)
0
0
3
1
1
1
0
11
0
2
1
1
3
6
8
2
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
5
10
15
5 and under
6-7
8-9
10-11
12-15
16-25
26-35
36-45
46-55
56-65
66+
long
questionnaires
short
questionniares
Brain in a bag questionnaires (n=39)
0
0
0
1
4
1
4
6
4
2
1
0
5
3
3
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
2
4
6
8
5 and under
6-7
8-9
10-11
12-15
16-25
26-35
36-45
46-55
56-65
66+
long
questionnaires
short
questionnaires






















































28

Robomaina questionniares (n=31)
0
3
2
4
3
6
1
4
0
0
0
1
4
2
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
2
4
6
8
5 and under
6-7
8-9
10-11
12-15
16-25
26-35
36-45
46-55
56-65
66+
long
questionniares
short
questionnaires

















Questionnaire responses


Long questionnaires


What did you think of the event overall?
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
25
27
25
15
5
2
2
0%
10%
20%
30%
40%
50%
60%
70%
80%
90%
100%
Robomania
Brain in a bag
Creepy Crawley Robots
The Sweet Computer
Teach a Robot to Act and
Speak
Good
Ok
Bad

29

Do you think you will continue to dicuss robotics after the event?
0
0
0
0
18
21
11
14
5
8
6
10
1
2
1
0%
10%
20%
30%
40%
50%
60%
70%
80%
90%
100%
Robomania
Brain in a bag
Creepy Crawly Robots
The Sweet Computer
Teach a Robot to Act and
Speak
Definitely will
Maybe
Definitely
won't

Before the event, how much did you know about robotics?
4
3
1
3
3
16
16
11
8
3
7
8
10
4
1
0%
10%
20%
30%
40%
50%
60%
70%
80%
90%
100%
Robomania
Brain in a bag
Creepy Crawley Robots
The Sweet Computer
Teach a Robot to Act and
Speak
I knew lots
Middle
I knew nothing


How much do you think you've learned about robotics from this event?
0
0
0
0
21
18
11
7
1
6
8
11
7
5
1
0%
10%
20%
30%
40%
50%
60%
70%
80%
90%
100%
Robomania
Brain in a bag
Creepy Crawley Robots
The Sweet Computer
Teach a Robot to Act and
Speak
I learned lots
Middle
I learned nothing



30

Has the event changed how you feel about science and engineering?
0
0
0
0
17
19
11
11
3
7
6
8
3
4
1
0%
10%
20%
30%
40%
50%
60%
70%
80%
90%
100%
Robomania
Brain in a bag
Creepy Crawley Robots
The Sweet Computer
Teach a Robot to Act and
Speak
More interested
Same
Less interested


Short questionnaires

Did you like the robots event?
100
100
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
21
12
17
36
22
1
1
1
5
5
0
0%
10%
20%
30%
40%
50%
60%
70%
80%
90%
100%
Robomania
Brain in a bag
Creepy Crawley Robots
The Sweet Computer
Teach a Robot to Act and
Speak
Bugbot
Robots in therapy and play
Liked
Ok
Disliked



31

Has the event changed how you feel about science?
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
6
10
16
10
8
24
20
1
2
6
3
10
15
9
0%
10%
20%
30%
40%
50%
60%
70%
80%
90%
100%
Robomania
Brain in a bag
Creepy Crawley Robots
The Sweet Computer
Teach a Robot to Act
and Speak
Bugbot
Robots in therapy and
play
More interested
No change
Less interested



Evaluation questionnaires


NB response boxes have been resized to fit the format of this report.


Thanks to Sally Fort, the Manchester Science

Festival Evaluator, for the basis of the roboticists’
questionnaire.


32

What do you think about robots?

Please take a few moments to tell us your thoughts on today’s event. Your comments will
help us improve future activities. Thanks!

1.

Please write down
th
ree words

that describe the
event



2.

Please circle the
face

that describes
your opinion:

What did you think of the event
overall?

Good







Bad

Do you think you will
continue to
discuss

robotics after the event?

Definitely
will







Definitely
won’t

B敦or攠t桥 敶敮tI
how much did
you know

about robotics
?

I knew
lots







I knew
nothing

How much do you think you have
learned about robotics

from the
event?

I learned
lots







I learned
nothing


3.

Please tell us…

What you enjoyed
most

about the
event:


What you enjoyed
least
, or what could be
improved
:

4.

Did you
learn something new

at the event? If so, what?


5.

Has the
event

changed how you
feel about robotics
? In what way?


6.

Has the
event

changed how you

feel

about science and engineering
?

More interest
ed







Less interested

7.

Do you think any of this
relates to your own life
? Why or why not?


8.

Do you have any other comments about the event or robotics generally?


9.

What is
your age
?


Under 16 (please state) ………………




16
-
25




26
-
35


36
-
45



46
-
55





56
-
65




66+

10.

What is
your gender
?



Male




Female







Thanks!


33


What do you think about robots?



1.

Did you like the
robots event
? Please circle one face:











2.

Tell us what you
thought about the event
:











3.

Has the event changed how you
feel about science
? Please
circle one face:











More




No




Less



interested


change




interested


4.

Did you
learn something new

today? If so, what?










5.


Circle one: are you…




male



f
emale

6.

How old are you?

Please

write your
age


…………………….. years

THANKS!

……………………………………………………………………………………


…………………………………………………………………



…………………………………………………………………


……………………….……………………………………………………….……



34


Manchester Science Festival

/ Festival of
Robotics
contributors’ questionnaire


This questionnaire explores your experiences of the Festival of
Robotics and the Manchester Science Festival. Please take a few moments to complete this
form and return it to Laura or Bella, the Walking with Robots evaluators (
find us at MoSI) or
to Claire Rocks in the prepaid envelope provided.


Name

(optional)



…………………………………………………..

1.

Do you work in…



Academia? If so, please tell us your:


Role



…………………………………………………..


Department & Faculty

…………………………………………………..

Institution



………………………………………………..



Industry?



Education?



Other? (please tell us)

…………………………………………………..


2.

Is your work related to:



Science?




Engineering?



Maths?



Technology?



Other? (please tell us) …………………………………………………..


3.

How did you find out about the Festi
val?



4.

What
motivated you to take

part in
the Festival?



5.

Had you worked with the Walking with Robots network prior to the Festival?



Yes





No




Don’t know

6.

Does this work link to any

of your organisation’s

in
ternal or external strategies? I
f so,
p
lease say which.



7.

In what ways are you supporting the festival?
(tick as many as apply)



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Completely new activity



Existing activity, but with changes especially for the festival



Existing activity with minimal or no changes














Please turn over



35

9.

W
ho w
as your first point of contact for the Festival?

…………………………………………………..


10.

Have

you had direct contact with



the
Science
Festival Director
, Natalie Ireland?



Yes




No




Don’t know

the Festival of Robotics Director, Laura Drane?



Yes



No




Don’t know


11.

Do
you feel you had adequate information / support prior to the F
estival? How could
this aspect be improved?




12.

Do / did you need direct contact with the

Science Festival or Festival of Robotics

Director? Please say why / why not?




13.

What is your preferred format for communication / support
for the Festival? (tick as
many as apply)




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………………………………………………



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Is there anything you’d like to add?





Thank you for your contribution to the evaluation of Manchester Science Festival 20
09