NAO robot boosts engineering tech skills after £5,000 donation

Engineering students have a new robotic classmate thanks to a £5,000 donation to City and Islington College (CANDI).

The NAO humanoid robot at the college’s Centre for Applied Science was purchased with funding from the Pat Allsop Charitable Trust, a charity set up by property firm Allsop.

The robot has full body motion and the walking speed of a two-year-old child. It has cameras fitted with facial and object recognition along with speech recognition and sound localisation.

Standing just under 2ft high, it can be programmed to move and talk and will be used by Engineering Level 3 Diploma students to complete an Autonomous Mobile Robotics unit.

Engineering student Theron White, 18, said: “Having the robot in class is really exciting. We’ve had a demonstration on how it moves and interacts with other people and checks its surroundings. It’s amazing what it can do and I’m looking forward to using it in lessons. I’m really into robotics and programming, so this is right up my street.

“The course has been really good and I’ve loved the different units we’ve been studying. the robot is going to broaden our horizons and help us learn more about AI and other aspects of engineering. The teachers are very hands on. They have an easy way of explaining things and been very supportive.”

NAO robots were originally developed by Aldebaran Robotics, which was acquired by SoftBank Group in 2015 and rebranded as Softbank Robotics. The robots have been used in research, education and healthcare worldwide.

Catherine Quinn, Head of School for Science, Technology Engineering and Maths (STEM), said: “We were absolutely thrilled to receive such a kind and generous donation by the Pat Allsop Charitable Trust.

“The NAO robot is a fantastic addition to our great engineering workshops and facilities at CANDI and will support our students with the robotics element of their course, which will provide them with the skills and knowledge they need for university and their future careers.”

The Pat Allsop Charitable Trust has previously provided funding for UrbanPlan workshops at schools and colleges, which included a session on urban regeneration with CANDI students in March 2019.

Scott Tyler, Senior Partner and Trustee of the Pat Allsop Charitable Trust, said: “We were really pleased to be able to make a donation from the Pat Allsop Charitable Trust to City and Islington College. 

“We are delighted and intrigued at the news that the funds have been used to purchase a working robot. We would love to see it in action and look forward to continuing our relationship with the college.”

Find out more and apply for Engineering courses here.

Get the skills London needs to boost your job prospects and the capital’s economy

Sector Insight Event at Emirates Stadium on Tuesday 28 February from 11am to 2pm

Capital City College Group (CCCG) has teamed up with LIFT and Arsenal in the Community to give people the chance to find out how they can boost their career prospects.

Jobseekers can learn more about gaining skills at CCCG’s Mayor of London Academy Hubs at a Sector Insight Event at Emirates Stadium on 28 February from 11am to 2pm.

Last year CCCG successfully bid to run four Academy Hubs specialising in the Creative, Digital, Hospitality and Green industries, to support the capital’s economic recovery from COVID.

The event will give people the chance to gain an insight into careers in these sectors and training opportunities available through the Academy Hubs and CCCG’s industry partners.

Attendees will be able to apply for live vacancies on the day, visit employer stands, take part in workshops and get help and advice to improve their employability skills.

They will also have the chance to sign up to follow-up sessions to get more information on specific jobs and courses along with further advice from employers at Arsenal Community Hub in March.

The Academy Hubs aim to support adults hardest hit by the pandemic including those from diverse ethnic backgrounds, those with SEND, carers and other underrepresented groups.

Find out more about CCCG’s Mayor of London Academy Hubs and other Skills Academies here.

LIFT is a programme across Camden, Hackney, Islington and Tower Hamlets that aims to help people into tech, digital, creative and science careers, and support businesses in these sectors.

Places at the Sector Insight Event must be booked in advance on Eventbrite here.

Stands and Sessions at Emirates Stadium on Tuesday 28 February

Camera Skills with Middlesex UniversityCoding Games with 01FoundersJobs in the Green IndustryMaking MocktailsPromotional Stall of Opportunities with LIFT  
Be a Graphic DesignerWhat is User Experience (UX)?Green QuizCoffee Beans CompetitionLondon Square – Building Modular  Kits
Media Make-up and SFXGet The Best Out of LinkedinGreen Courses and JobsBreakout Job Coaching BoothIslington Adult Community Services – Courses
Video Editing and VFXDigital Jobs and Employer Q&AEmployability informationMake Hospitality Work For YouiWork – Employment Support
Film London – Equal Access NetworkBreakout Job Coaching BoothOne-to-One Job SupportA World of OpportunitiesSector Employer Stands

Follow-up Sessions at Arsenal Community Hub in March (exact dates and times TBC)

Week CommencingCreativeDigitalGreenHospitality
6 MarchProduction Crew – Lighting and ElectricsWhat are the Digital Skills in Demand?An Introduction to Green Skills IndustriesImperial London Hotels
13 MarchProduction AccountantCV and Interview TipsIntroduction to Building EnvelopesThe Ivy Group
20 March Games, Animation and VFXLearning How to CodeLevel 3 Certificate in Domestic Energy AssessmentGreene King
27 MarchSet Decorator, Designer, Costume and Make-upMorgan Hunt – Jobs, Tips and AdviceLevel 3 Award in Electrical Vehicle Charging Point InstallationInterContinental Hotels Group

Find out more information and to apply for all our courses and apprenticeships here.

Tech savvy students volunteer at PC Pals community project

IT students from City and Islington College (CANDI) have been volunteering at a community project helping people learn and develop their digital skills.

A group of nine students have been sharing their tech knowledge at PC Pals sessions held at St Luke’s Community Centre in Central Street in south Islington.

The project started in 2009 and provides free weekly access to PCs and wi-fi and offers support and advice on using computers, tablets and mobile phones.

Students have been helping people to use Windows, Microsoft applications, social media, email, online shopping, mobile phone apps and other technical support.

Their voluntary work will form part of the work experience they are required to complete on their IT Level 2 Certificate and IT Level 3 Diploma courses.

John Garces, Business Engagement Manager at St Luke’s Community Centre, said: “The involvement and support from City and Islington College’s students has been amazing and so valuable.

“We have seen tangible changes in people who have come to us. After a few classes with the students, they feel more confident and are not afraid of using a computer. It’s learning basic things many of us take for granted that can make a huge difference to someone’s life.”

PC Pals runs every Wednesday from noon to 1pm.

Find out more about Computing and IT courses at CANDI and apply here.

Queen's Award for Enterprise