National Robotics Week will take place April 7 - 15, 2012, staged to help get students excited about science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). National Robotics Week also serves to increase public awareness about the growing importance of robots in education, industry, and the future of the U.S. economy.
More than 135 regional events and activities geared toward K-12 students are planned in all 50 states. Robotics companies, universities, and organizations throughout the country are staging the events.
Home appliance robot maker iRobot Corp. is a founding co-sponsor of National Robotics Week and promotes robotics as a pillar of 21st Century American innovation for its ability to inspire technology education.
SPARK - Starter Programs for the Advancement of Robotics Knowledge - is iRobot's unique and multi-faceted educational outreach initiative. It is designed to inspire students to choose careers in the robot industry.
"Robots are a part of our daily lives, providing smarter ways to clean our homes, protect those in harm's way and extend the independence of our increasing aging population," said iRobot Chairman and CEO Colin Angle. "A celebration of U.S. talent and ingenuity, National Robotics Week has emerged as an important platform to highlight the growing importance of robotics. iRobot is extremely proud to be a part of this important initiative through our SPARK program."
In 2009, Congress established the second week of April as National Robotics Week in recognition of this growing sector of the U.S. economy. Since then, robotics experts across industry and academia have joined together to build this "national platform" for robotics technology.
"Robotics play a vital role in a broad array of our leading domestic industries and have spurred countless advances in health care, manufacturing and laboratory research, while also providing life-saving technology for our military personnel on the front lines," said Representative Niki Tsongas (D-Mass.). "The robotics industry creates jobs that help the U.S. maintain a competitive advantage in the innovation economy."
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