Past and present will wow public at air show

air showVisitors to this year’s RAF Waddington International Air Show can meet a 3D-printed robot and listen to the sound of an insect that lived 165 million years ago.

Created by Dr John Murray from the School of Computer Science at the University of Lincoln, UK, MARC – Multi-Actuated Robotic Companion – will be meeting the public during the event on 5th and 6th July 2014.

MARC, whose design is supplied by the open source project InMoov, is one of three robots created to help scientists understand how more realistic long-term relationships might be developed between humans and androids.

He will be one of the attractions at the University of Lincoln’s stand which takes on the theme of ‘Robotics and the Natural World’.

The process used to create MARC will be demonstrated with visitors having the chance to 3D-print their own initial.

Dr Murray said: “It’s great to be taking part in the Waddington Air Show once again. People love to see the projects being worked on here at the University of Lincoln and it’s a valuable opportunity to engage with the public and showcase the fantastic research being undertaken by academics from a wide variety of subjects.”

A new exhibit this year is the ‘Jurassic Acoustic Detective’ , which will explain the story of how the fossil record of a long-extinct insect has been brought to life. Visitors will be able to listen to the sound made by an insect that died 165 million years ago when dinosaurs still stalked the earth and also learn how the extinct Jurassic bushcrickets communicated.

The exhibit is based on the research of Dr Fernando Montealegre-Zapata, Senior Lecturer in the School of Life Sciences, who aims to understand how bushcrickets (or katydids) detect ultrasonic frequencies in their natural environment.

Members of the public can watch an electro-luminescent dance performance given by the University’s Performing Arts students and use the Oculus Rift head-mounted virtual reality headset to experience a CGI ‘fly-through’ of the whole show.

Also on show will be the popular ‘robot football’, which people can control on a purpose-built football pitch, and quadrocopters – the latest sensation in aerial remote control aircraft.

Siren FM, the city’s community radio station based on the University’s Brayford campus, will be at the show all weekend to record the reactions of visitors to the stand.​