Leeds is marching to its own robotic beat

Georgia Bearman and Charlie Mason with the 'Embot'  All pictures by Christopher Nunn.
Georgia Bearman and Charlie Mason with the 'Embot' All pictures by Christopher Nunn.
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IMAGINE thousands of robots marching in unison through Leeds.

It might sound like the plot of a futuristic film, but it’s about to become a reality.

'Professor Reid' with the Embot

'Professor Reid' with the Embot

Leeds folk have been challenged to create 10,000 robots in time for a planned parade in the centre of the city on October 26.

It’s all part of the March of the Robots, a civic project designed to bring the people of Leeds 
together in one big creative effort.

Robots can be made out of any material of your choice. They can even be in the form of a picture or animation - and baking fans might be tempted to make an edible robot out of cake!

Among the early stars, pictured above, is the ‘Embot’ – made by one of the team 
members and dedicated to project leader Emma 
Bearman.

Time Travelling Roving Robot Laboratory Appears in West Leeds.''March of the Robots'' The Steam Team in Armley

Time Travelling Roving Robot Laboratory Appears in West Leeds.''March of the Robots'' The Steam Team in Armley

Kay Brown, who is also part of the team, explained the numbers of androids and humanoids created in the city is already in the thousands, but a final push is now on to reach the mechanical milestone.

And to get the city’s creative juices flowing even more, a series of events – led by robot inventor ‘Professor Reid’ – are being held next week.

The professor and erstwhile time traveller – real name Stephen Reid – is taking his roving robot laboratory across Leeds.

Housed in a Tardis-like 20ft shipping container, the lab – full of research tools, computers and maps – has already landed successfully in Armley’s Charlie Cake Park and in a corner of Hunslet.

Time Travelling Roving Robot Laboratory Appears in West Leeds.''March of the Robots'' Robot_March_085

Time Travelling Roving Robot Laboratory Appears in West Leeds.''March of the Robots'' Robot_March_085

The professor is asking visitors to bring along a local artefact from their area to help 
him get a ‘feel’ for his latest location.

As well as getting some expert tips on the science and art of robot-making, visitors will be invited to help him solve a mystery puzzle.

The mystery will unravel fully on Friday, October 3 on Victoria Gardens in the city centre, where the professor and his lab will make a special appearance to coincide with this year’s Light Night event.

Organisers of March of the Robots are urging schools, community groups and even families to host their own robot-making workshops.

They want people to take photos of their creations and upload them to the project website www.marchoftherobots.com. People are then asked to bring their robots along to the final parade which is expected to be held on the Briggate on October 26. Full details will be confirmed in the coming days.

More than 55 robot events have already taken place in Leeds, with three big public interactive robots currently under way in Hyde Park, Armley and Seacroft.

It is all linked to the city winning the chance to house a multi-million pound robotic design facility at the University of Leeds.

The roving robot lab will land at Bramley Elderly Action, 230 Stanningley Road, Bramley from 10am on Friday, September 26. You can also pop in to The Tetley in Hunslet Road from 11am on Sunday, September 28.

Visit www.marchoftherobots.com and www.facebook.com/playfulleeds, or follow @LeedsRobotLab on Twitter.

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