Titan the Robot Inspires Budding Computer Science Students

Pupils at Penrice Academy in St. Austell welcomed a world-famous, 8-foot-tall visitor into school on Monday 10th October.

Jaws dropped as Titan the Robot took to the stage with a mission to both entertain and to plant the seed of inspiration in each student’s brain, showcasing what is possible in Computer Science.

The visit of Titan represented a thrilling opportunity for Penrice Computing students to meet a local company who use high-end technology. Cyberstein Robots Ltd are based in Newquay and tour the globe with their robots Titan and Brutus.

Titan’s TV appearances include Britain’s Got Talent, Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway, Big Brother and The Gadget Show. He has also performed alongside A-list celebrities including Will Smith, Jackie Chan and Rihanna; Titan once even rocked Wembley Stadium with Will.i.am.

All Year 7 and Year 8 students got to meet Titan on the day, along with those students in Years 9, 10 and 11 who study Computer Science at GCSE-level. Later in the afternoon, Penrice opened its doors to local Primary Schools for a coding workshop and, of course, a performance with Titan.

Mrs Jacqui Hanton
Head of Computing at Penrice Academy

“Today is all about giving our students that real-life experience of robotics and programming. One of the key things with Computer Science is for students to think bigger. It’s not just about sitting at a computer and coding here at school. I want to challenge students to think ‘how could I make the next Titan?’ and ‘how can I use programming to solve real-world problems?’”

It was also a memorable day for Kieren Mason on the Cyberstein Operations Team who returned to his old school having left at the end of Year 11 in 2011.

Having studied Information Technology at Penrice, Kieren moved on to study a BTEC in Systems Support at St. Austell College before heading to Oxford Brookes University where he studied a degree in Computer Science.

When asked to share some words of inspiration to current Penrice students, Kieren said:

“Look at me – I now get to play with big toys and robots every day!”

He continued:

“I highly advise doing what your passion is – if that is Computer Science then great! From Computer Science you can specialise in software coding, games development and website development to name just a few pathways. The branches are massive and with the rate that technology is advancing, now is the golden time to choose Computer Science as a pathway. In my opinion, we’re about to go into the Robotics Age.”

Cyberstein’s latest development sees them working on K-na, a female, humanoid Artificial Intelligence robot. After almost four years of development, K-na is currently undergoing final trials and is set to be unveiled later this year.

Mrs Hanton finished by saying:

“One of the highlights of my day was seeing on of our Year 7’s jaws drop, and then grow into one of the biggest smiles I have ever seen!”

Year 8 pose for a photo with Titan at the end of the show