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Imagining the Future with WMG

solar treeWMG will be joining colleagues from the University of Warwick this Friday (16 October) and Saturday (17 October) to showcase its fascinating work as part of the University’s Festival of Imagination. The Festival has been organised to mark the University of Warwick’s 50th anniversary.

We are currently putting the finishing touches to a state-of-the-art solar tree which will be unveiled at the Festival. Solar trees are artificial sculptural structures that convert the sun’s energy into electric current using photovoltaic (PV) cells. The tree has been created using CAD and brought to life through 3D printing. Once in position in the Butterworth Hall, Warwick Arts Centre, the tree will reach an impressive 6ft in height.

In theory, solar trees could range in size from a bonsai on a window ledge, right up to the height of a wind turbine. The electricity produced might be used for anything from charging mobile phones or electric cars, powering streetlights, and even supplying entire buildings.

Ready, Steady, Go!

Also in the Butterworth Hall will be a collection of remarkable vehicles including a special sustainable eco car, the WMG Academy’s racing car and the Warwick Formula Student car. Alongside them will be a racing simulator for visitors to try out. The display itself will feature noise, flags and lights to create a realistic track-side experience.

Talks and Debates

Academics from WMG will also be delivering a series of talks including:

  • ‘Robot Apocalypse’ – Professor Colin Williams from the Cyber Security Centre will discuss whether developments in Robotics and AI will result in the destruction of humanity. Friday 16 October: 6.15pm-7.15pm, ticket only
  • ‘Keeping the Car Running’ – a panel of WMG professors and a representative from Coventry’s Motor Museum will discuss the future of the motor vehicle. Saturday 17 October, 10.15am-11.15am, FREE

  • ‘Robots for Real’ – aimed specifically at families, Senior Teaching Fellow Emma Rushforth will be discussing the future of robots and their capabilities. Science fiction robots such as R2-D2 in Star Wars, and Disney Pixar's WALL-E live long in our memory and are accepted as part of our future. Past futurologists predicted that by the 21st century we would have these robots helping us with our daily chores. However, only until recently are we are now starting to see real robots outside our factories, despite them working hard inside our factories for the past 30 or more years. Saturday 17 October:11.30am-12.30pm, FREE

For more information

The Festival of the Imagination takes place from 16-17 October and has been organised to mark the University of Warwick’s 50th anniversary. For a full programme of events, tickets or more information visit


Wed 14 Oct 2015, 15:55 | Tags: Cyber Security Centre Experiential Engineering