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The National Centre for Industry 4.0 in cooperation with Škoda Auto and the Technological Literacy platform welcomed more than 280 primary and secondary school students as part of an educational event on modern technologies on 20 and 21 March. The aim of this cooperation was to introduce new technologies to young people in an engaging way and to show them in practice. The programme included a guided tour of the RICAIP Testbed for Industry 4.0 at the CIIRC CTU in Prague.

Electromobility, artificial intelligence, 5G networks, the Internet of Things or cybersecurity: these are the topics we have been focusing on in our programme to increase the technological literacy of secondary and primary school students. The lecture module, tailor-made for pupils and students by the Technology Literacy Platform, introduces the technologies that move the world. In a fun, clear and practical way.

"Raising the level of technical education and motivating students to study technical fields is one of Škoda Auto's key awareness-raising activities. For several years now, we have also been a general partner of the Technology Literacy projects, which we have now decided to combine with activities at the National Centre for Industry 4.0. Our aim is to show pupils and students the latest technologies live, not only in the form of lectures, but also through practical examples," emphasises Jana Polášek Filová, Škoda Auto's expert coordinator for digitisation and innovation.

"If we want to get young people excited about studying technology, we need to be able to present it to them as a modern and promising field. In the Testbed for Industry 4.0, students were also able to see projects created by students, for example, as part of their bachelor theses. For example, a robotic lady that works on the principles of artificial intelligence or a robotic coffee machine," explains Robert Keil, Director of the National Centre for Industry 4.0.

"Cooperation with the National Centre for Industry 4.0 is a great opportunity for us to combine academia and practice, to introduce new technologies to pupils and students. Thanks to the involvement of RICAIP's Industry 4.0 Testbed, we are one step closer to the practice, students could see, try and literally touch everything," says Tadeáš Salaba from the Technological Literacy project.

The partners of the National Centre for Industry 4.0 are industrial companies that are well aware of the importance of students' interest in technology. For this reason, the technological literacy project has long been supported by the Centre's main partner Škoda Auto.

During the tour of the RICAIP Testbed for Industry 4.0, which is located on 1640 m2 on two floors of the Czech Institute of Informatics, Robotics and Cybernetics CTU, the visitors could see, for example, a Delta robot with a conveyor, which is equipped with a 5G communication module for safety and control functions and uses artificial intelligence algorithms for image processing, or a metrology laboratory fully equipped for optical and tactile measurement. Or the interactive collaborative robotic assembly workstation, where an interactive robotic workstation can be created with collaborative robots that are able to assemble the Hanoi Tower using a camera or play board games.

Testbed is a research and experimentation environment where various technologies such as additive manufacturing, machining, robotic handling, intelligent transport systems, human-robot collaboration, automated storage and more are combined. A key aspect of Testbed is the existence of a so-called digital twin, which can be understood as a virtual model of a product, a manufacturing process and an entire production facility connected through a series of real-time sensors to the physical world in a cyber-physical space.

The educational event was prepared to cover two days. The first day belonged to secondary school students in the form of a morning and afternoon block, with each block being designed for three schools. The same awaited primary school students on the second day. Due to the great success of the teachers and students and the interest of other schools, we are planning another continuation in the autumn.

More information in the event is available here

Virtual tour of the Testbed section can be seen here:

More information about Testbed for Industry 4.0 can be found here: