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Thousands who shop at Londonderry's Foyleside Centre will get a glimpse of the future on Saturday (Sept 18), courtesy of a University of Ulster research centre at the Magee campus that has an international reputation for its pioneering research and innovation.
A special display at the shopping complex will set the scene for the Intelligent Systems Research Centre’s first ever “Discovery Day”, on September 25, when it will open its doors to the public to showcase how ISRC advances are fuelling momentum in the fast evolving world of research and innovation.

On Saturday (Sept 18) a group of post-doctoral researchers and business liaison staff from Magee will occupy a large space in the heart of the Foyleside from 11am to 4pm  to display scientific equipment  and software capabilities that provide a flavour of Discovery Day.

Mobile “Pioneer” robots that respond to laptop instructions and a demonstration of world-leading “virtual world” technology, with opportunities for keypad interactive involvement by the public, are among the attractions that will be at Foyleside.

Peter Devine, ISRC business development manager, said: “What we are doing is whetting people’s appetite for Discovery Day itself, which is on September 25th at the ISRC building, at the Strand Road entrance to the campus directly opposite the City Council offices. 

“The Foyleside display on Saturday (Sept 18) will be a fun time. We will be taking science out from behind our desks and work stations and showing it to the general public as ‘a taster’ for Discovery Day.

“Discovery Day is for everyone from grandchildren to grandparents -- for people with even just  a passing interest in ‘how things work’, for anyone perhaps a bit curious about technology trends, for students, families and people who maybe never have had any particular reason to visit the campus. We want to let them know about the calibre and impact of the work that is taking place right on their doorstep.

“The ISRC at Magee is a jewel in the crown and we want the people of the North West to know about it -- and be proud of it.”

The ISRC has around 100 researchers and academics from some 15 countries who are involved in a range of highly complex research areas, often in partnership with other world-leading research institutions.

Everyone is welcome to take part in Discovery Day itself which will run from 2pm to 5pm on Saturday 25 September.

Guides will escort groups around the ISRC and introduce them to “Foyle”, the centre’s largest mobile robot and the visitors will experience virtual world technology at the click of a mouse. They will get hands on experience of the centre’s work on immersive learning, using virtual worlds, and see benefits of “brain computer interfacing” and how technology can improve healthcare, with demos including the use of a powered wheelchair and robotic hand.

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