Science Ceilidh Collaboration

Our People
7 Sep
2023
Dylan Speir

Throughout the second half of 2022, Gibson Robotics were honoured to collaborate with the Science Ceilidh at a few of their events as part of the New Scots Connect Project.

The Science Ceilidh is an award-winning charity organisation connecting creativity, culture, STEM, research, and health and wellbeing with community groups, youth clubs, and schools across Scotland. Their New Scots programme supports the sharing of knowledge and stories with and by new scots, including refugees, asylum seekers, and wider migrant communities who live, work, and share their talents in Scotland. The New Scots Connect project aims to connect New Scots with local engineers who can share their unique experiences and knowledge through workshops and group events.

Gibson Robotics have worked with the Syrians Men Group twice at their regularly occurring meeting. At these events, Syrian men with a wide range of backgrounds, who have set up new lives in Scotland and are supported by the Multi-Cultural Family Base, come together to meet with different engineers who take part in an informal Q&A before running a short workshop to give the men an introduction into their line of work. The men also contribute with their personal stories and communicate Arabic translations of words relevant to the engineering topics of the day

Dylan Speir, Chief Hardware Engineer at Gibson Robotics, attended the first of the two Men’s group events, which was held at Edinburgh Napier University in July. Dylan gave a presentation on Gibson Robotics, going into detail on the innovative nature of our work and the necessities of developing UAS technology for the safety and security sector. Dylan also provided some background on the formation and running of a successful start-up company. After answering a range of insightful questions from the men, Dylan then ran a workshop on how to build a racing drone. By providing information on the purpose of each component and delivering step-by-step instructions, Dylan allowed the men to build the drone themselves. This was a fun and effective way of showing off UAS technology and highlighting how easy the technology is to access. This activity set up the opportunity for another follow-up workshop that Gibson Robotics could run. 

Oran Ellis, Lead Flight Systems Engineer at Gibson Robotics, took up the opportunity to run this follow-up workshop to allow the men to see the drone they built in action. Oran attended the Men’s group in December at the Hay Community Centre in Edinburgh after taking the time to set up the software required in the drone. Oran provided the group with an overview of his unique role within Gibson Robotics and of his experience with drone building and racing as a hobby. They were particularly interested in how they could get involved themselves and Oran was the perfect person to ask. Oran then joined the group in a walk to Hunter Hall public park where he ran a workshop on racing drone flying. After giving a demonstration and allowing each member to experience the view of flying through his FPV goggles, Oran gave each attendant a go at balancing the throttle to get the drone to hover while he kept control, a difficult skill to master but they all embraced the challenge and eventually had it perfected.

In between the two very successful Syrian Men’s group events, Gibson Robotics were again represented by Dylan Speir, this time at the New Scots Connect Camp. The Connect Camp is an annual event, hosted by Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh and run by Science Ceilidh and volunteering engineers, for children with Syrian refugee backgrounds. Over the three-day event in August, the children took part in engineering and team building activities, tours and presentations from Dynamic Earth, and Q&A sessions with the engineers. Dylan supervised and joined in with all the activities, sharing stories with the children and giving them an insight into his unique engineering journey and the appeal of Gibson Robotics. On the final day, Dylan led a drone activity where he demonstrated to the children how a drone operated and tasked them with creating shapes that could be captured from the air by a drone that he piloted. After partaking (scoring the winner) in the annual “adults versus kids” football match, Dylan presented alongside the other volunteers at the prize giving and provided a number of constructive suggestions at the concluding debrief.

Overall, the Gibson Robotics team relished the opportunity to contribute to such a great cause and hoped that all attendees got as much out of it as they did. Gibson Robotics looks forward to working alongside Science Ceilidh again in 2023.

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