Volnoe Delo Foundation established by Russian businessman Oleg Deripaska, has opened XII Robofest, Europe's largest festival of research and technological creativity of school and university students. Its activities are aimed at developing the creative potential of the young generation.
A total of 65 regions of Russia and also of four foreign countries have delegated their young talents to participate in the festival. This year, it is held online for the first time. The fruits of the scientific and technological creativity in the segment of robotics are presented by 5,000 participants. In addition, scientists, writers and popularizers of science such as the fantasy author Nick Perumov, Sberbank’s Vice-President Albert Yefimov, Evgeny Dudorov, who created Fedor, a Russian humanoid robot that replicates the movements of a remote operator and can perform some actions autonomously, astrophysicist Sergey Popov and many others take part in Robofest.
By tradition, the festival was opened with an introduction of the participating teams. This year, it was held in a slightly unusual way as all contestants have to connect to the major competition site managing the robots remotely. During the first day, the teams presented their projects and conducted test races.
There is an interactive lecture hall on the website where leading scientists, engineers, writers, reporters and science popularizers share their knowledge with the participants and audience of the festival. They discuss whether it is possible to provide the computer with intuition, whether robots will be able to write books and whether it will be interesting to read them, how technology affects the perception of art, and whether the technophobia of modern society is justified.
On the first day of the interactive lecture, Nastya Travkina, a reporter and the author of the book titled ‘Homo Mutatbalis’, Egor Yakovlev, an expert and internet visionary, and media artist Maxim Silenkov were the guests of Robofest. Nick Perumov, a science-fiction writer, Sergey Popov, a science popularizer and the Russian astrophysicist, Sberbank’s Vice-President Albert Yefimov, Fedor the robot’s creator Evgeny Dudorov, and others will also visit the festival's online platform.
Notably, the format of the Robofest festival is unique not only for Russia but also for the whole world. Thanks to technological solutions, thousands of participants from all over Russia and other countries will be competing, communicating and taking part in interactive lectures with the attendance of guests during the week, but without leaving home.
One can follow the online broadcast of XII Robofest and communicate with the participants and guests of the festival, as well as get acquainted with its program at http://online.robofest.ru/
It is noteworthy that Robofest is the largest in Europe and one of the world's largest technological festivals for young people. It unites participants from 6 to 26 years old, who present their achievements in the segment of research and technological creativity at the festival.
The first Robofest festival took place in 2009. Over 11 years, it has become a prestigious scientific and practical forum for the young generation of Russian scientists and inventors. More than 100,000 schoolchildren took part in it. One in three of them later became a student of Moscow State University, Bauman Moscow State University of Technology, Moscow Physics Engineering Institute and other leading technical universities of the country.
Volnoe Delo, a foundation for supporting social innovation, was established by the Russian businessman Oleg Deripaska. Today, it is one of the largest Russian organizations working in the sector of charity, philanthropy and voluntary service.
The foundation solves socially significant issues, supports domestic education and science, and helps preserve Russia’s cultural and historical heritage. With the support of the foundation, 500 projects were implemented in 50 Russian regions. A total of 90,000 school students, 4,000 teachers, 8,000 students of universities and colleges, 4,000 scientists, and 1,200 educational, scientific, cultural, health, sports and other organizations have become its beneficiaries. The figures are impressive indeed.