The story of a non-profit association to bring robots to museums

An association created for Eurobot competitions

As a starting point, there was just a group of engineers from the Faculté Polytechnique at UMons, Belgium who were participating to the Eurobot International Robotic Contest for a class project in 2005. Enthusiastic about the experience, they decided to federate into an association to continue working on other robotic projects and transmit tools and knowledge to the future generation of students. Personally, I got involved when I was in high school with friends to ask for advice about a robot we were creating for the Junior Eurobot competition. This helped us to win the Belgian branch and reach the 13th place in Europe

Starting 2010, the association was mainly driven by Laurent Pinchart and Christophe Chariot who centered the activities to education and low-level electronic development. Along with other students, I enjoyed weekly evening class on Atmel microprocessor programming and low-level use of Linux embedded ARM boards. A stock of tools and material was also accumulated and support to the students for the Eurobot competition continued and we participated and won again the Belgian contest and reached the 7th place in Europe in 2013.

To a new project bringing robots in Museums

However, the year 2014 marks a turning point in the existence of the iRobotique ASBL! After 10 years of various developments and successes in the robotic field, we gathered around a new goal: the construction of a modular exploration platform to guide tourists in museums. After many discussions and interactions with the museal sector and researchers specialized on the potential and dangers of new technologies in culture, we developed a better idea of the needs and starting collaborating with the Musée Royal de Mariemont and Pôle Muséal de la ville de Mons. Today, the project is on a break but we are eager to do some progress on it if we find the time in a near future.