Derry City & Strabane - NAO robot at Ulster University to feature during Virtual Learning Festival




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NAO robot at Ulster University to feature during Virtual Learning Festival

24 June 2020
It won't just be humans taking part in the Virtual Learning Festival when it kicks off next Wednesday, 1st July 2020.
Ulster University's NAO robot will also be making an appearance during an interactive session alongside Dr Emmett Kerr, Ulster University Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering at the Magee campus.
The robot has been residing at the Intelligent Systems Research Centre (ISRC) on the university's Magee campus, but will be making a special appearance for an online session that is sure to interest children and adults alike.
The session will explore the capabilities of NAO – with Dr Kerr recently programming the robot to take part in the 'Clap for Carers' initiative – while providing information on the world of robotics, an area in which Dr Kerr holds a PhD.
It is one of several technology and science-based events scheduled for the festival, with health & well-being, jobs & skills and arts & culture also covered by the programme to ensure that there is something to catch everyone's eye.
Dr Malachy Ó Néill, Provost at Ulster University's Magee campus said:
"We are delighted to bring NAO the robot and indeed the work of the Magee-based Intelligent Systems Research Centre (ISRC) to a wider audience on the occasion of the first-ever Virtual Learning Festival.
"At the ISRC, researchers have been working with technology inspired by the human brain for over 20 years. Robotics and automation is set to play an even bigger role in all our lives in the years ahead and for this reason, it is a focus area for two of the Ulster University-led Derry City Deal projects. Tuning in to Emmett will give people of all ages and levels of interest, a glimpse into what's involved in studying robotics.
"We are delighted also, to contribute talks in areas relating to medicine and pharmaceuticals, language and cultural identity and new original short films by our talented Cinematic Arts students.
"Ulster University's contribution to the Virtual Learning Festival reflects our strengths and subject offerings at the Ulster University Magee campus and we hope it will inspire local citizens and students of the future alike".
The Virtual Learning Festival – the world's first - takes place next Wednesday 1st July and Thursday 2nd July in the form of a series of information sessions, live presentations, short films and live chats covering a range of topics.
For more information and to view the festival programme, visit or email
Make sure to follow What's On Derry Strabane on social media for regular festival updates.   
If you would like to participate in the festival but require digital assistance, please contact Libraries NI on 02890395989 and give a description of your query and library staff will return your call within 48 hours.