Leeds hosts a celebratory robotic city take over

Issued on behalf of Playful Leeds

At the start of half term and over the weekend of 25th and 26th October March of the Robots are unleashing the 'bots they've been creating at various locations across the city.

After popping up with robotic missions in locations such as Bramley Baths and Victoria Gardens, March of the Robots are returning to the city centre for a celebration of all things robotic: the March of the Robots Party Weekend.

Whilst robots may have been in your peripheral vision in recent months as robot labs appeared and disappeared, the culmination of the March of the Robots project sees its collection of 'bots made by hundreds of residents come together for the first time.

Playful Leeds are exhibiting 3 Leeds Inspired Funded Community Junkbots on Briggate Sunday 26th, as well as encouraging all that have made robots during the last 11 months to bring them into Leeds.

There's still chance for everyone to get involved and make their own 'bot (or even become one) across the Party Weekend. On Saturday the Merrion Centre are hosting a workshop to create robots inspired by the Roland Emmet machines in residence, Trinity Leeds are hosting Lego Robot making and you can join a team of chocolate lovers to make Chocbots in Leeds Trinity. Elsewhere art space, The Tetley are hosting a RoboPop disco for youngsters involving mask making and robot dancing.

Keen gamers can get creative and immerse themselves in the world of Minecraft at the Minecraft Maker Party supported by Awesome Merchandise with book launches, robot games and Roboquilting in Leeds City Museum over both days. Then on the Sunday at Midday, it’s time to bring Robots into town, or get dressed up in futuristic fashion for a big robobop on Briggate. Those wanting to look the part and move like a robot can be transformed by a team of special effects makeup artists and recreate some cyborg moves on Briggate.

There’s also chance to see the winning entries in the March of the Robots & Leeds Young Film Film Poster competition supported by Logistik which will be revealed in Trinity Leeds over the weekend.

Chief Executive of Leeds City Council, Tom Riordan said:

"The beginnings of March of the Robots came from a Playful Leeds discussion in what was then the empty Borders store. Within a short period of time it's amazing to see the level of creativity, ingenuity and participation from residents and businesses across the city.

As a civic enterprise commission it’s been rewarding to see the robot project weave amongst existing festivals, venues and partners such as Light Night, Leeds Libraries, Artforms, and Leeds City Museum. Playful Leeds have engaged people of all ages in making robots from cardboard to code across many communities in Leeds during the last year.

I'm looking forward to seeing all of the robots in all forms come together and transform the city centre into a scene from the future."

And that's not all, there's a gigantic civic robot cake made by Leeds City College and Sunshine Bakery, an impressive aql SciFi Wifi enabled Roving Robot on Briggate created by CBIS Education, Giant Doodlebots (motorised drawing robots), and the very first open day tours of the newly opened ERSPC National Facility for Advanced Robotic Systems at the University of Leeds

Paul Turner Commercial Director of First Buses said:

"First is delighted to sponsor this event in the heart of Leeds. Families can get there and back by First bus for just £8 for up to five people with our Family and Friends ticket."

Chief Roboteer Emma Bearman added:

"We've loved the response we've received from groups of all ages and locations across the project but what we're most proud of is the fact that parents, teachers and venues have picked up the robot baton and facilitated their own activities.

When we started out our main aim was to create a resource that enabled others to have the freedom to feel able to collectively create something together and I look forward to seeing how the robot activities evolve past our party weekend."

Jim Johnson, Director and Leader of the Leeds office of sponsor Arup, is also delighted to be involved, saying Arup are keen to play their part in inspiring the next generation of inventors, engineers and future designers.

Tickets for the Party Weekend are free if booked before 22nd October. Those without advance tickets on the weekend will be charged £5 per human regardless of age. For detailed listings of the weekend events visit marchoftherobots.com


What is March of the Robots?

March of the Robots is a civic enterprise commission from Leeds City Council awarded to Playful Leeds in 2012 with an aspiration to connect communities, businesses, people and places together through a creative, resourceful endeavour. Exploring technology, making, and our future together.

Over 70 robot events have already taken place, with 3 big public interactive robots currently underway in Hyde Park, Armley and Seacroft. The final end celebration event showcasing all of the talent to date and encouraging a maker of all ages to create robots from cardboard to code will take place the weekend of 25 & 26th October in Leeds City Centre.

Stay up to date at www.marchoftherobots.com, @playfulleeds, www.facebook.com/playfulleeds

For further information about March of the Robots or Playful Leeds and to arrange an interview contact Emma at emma@marchoftherobots.com/ 07776 180994