Open Day Closed

April 27, 2008
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“It’s not rocket science” – a professor folding his own paper shuttle.

The Open Day came to a close at four yesterday, and the fact I’ve left it till today to write it up shows how tiring it was. After 11am it became a lot busier. The Aibos were popular with younger children. If you’ve not heard of an Aibo, it’s the robot dog I mentioned in the last post. It’s a programmable robot. I couldn’t get any video of them, as there were always at least three kids playing with them, but the video below, from YouTube, shows what they do when they’re set to ‘cute’

We also had a few people playing with our computer planetaria, possibly because the real one was booked solid within about a quarter of an hour. Our Lego Mars Rover did a fine impression of Beagle2 for much of the day. I know Beagle2 wasn’t built to move, but neither did our rover for quite a while. It works perfectly until someone points a camera at it, so I’m wondering if we got it second hand from “Tomorrow’s World”.

But despite the failure to explore a lot of Mars, on the whole the Open Day was a success. Many people left with their own shuttle including our own head of department. There’s something slightly surreal about watch an astrophysicist fold his own paper spaceship.

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Open Day at iScience

April 26, 2008
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The new ExoMars rover

It’s Open Day at the iScience Centre today. I would live blog the event, but it looks like it’s going to be busy. Downstairs we have a new ExoMars rover, while upstairs we’re conducting what might be the biggest ever archaeoastronomy experiment (if enough people take part – if no-one takes part then it’s be the smallest experiment). If you’d like to come along we’re open 10:30 till 16:00 at the Unversity of Leicester. There’s also two robotic dogs, both called Rover, which I’m finding confusing.

If you’d like to visit then come along to the University of Leicester campus and look for the Physics and Astronomy building.