Schoolboy wins contest to name robot dog

The UK’s first forest-protecting robot dog now has a name, thanks to an 11-year-old child from Newark.

Sam Davies came up with the winning entry – Gizmo – in a competition run by Nottinghamshire County Council to name the pioneering robot dog.

The dog-shaped remote-controlled robot is testing how images collected from typically inaccessible areas can help monitor and assess the health and condition of forests, designed by experts at Birmingham City University.

It is part of a county council-led research project to create the world’s first 5G connected forest to test how 5G technology can boost tourism and the environment, in collaboration with leading university researchers and local businesses.

Sam, a pupil at King’s Church of England Primary Academy in Newark said:

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“I suggested Gizmo because it’s a futuristic name for a robot dog.

“I am very shocked and excited to win.”

Sam and his lucky classmates will be invited to take part in the next trials – which will take place next month – to test and give their opinion on the new Robin Hood interactive holographic movie experience, which is part of the larger 5G Connected Forest project. It aims to bring the legend to life using mixed reality headsets.

Sam Davis.  scaled dog naming contest winner

Sam and his family will enjoy a session of adventure golf for a family of four as well as a family meal, courtesy of Parkwood Leisure, who run Rufford Abbey on behalf of Nottinghamshire County Council.

Councilor Keith Girling, chairman of the county council’s economic development and asset management committee, said:

“Thumbs up Sam. We had a lot of great suggestions, so thanks to everyone who participated.

“Gizmo is a very fitting name for this amazing robot dog.

“Sam and his classmates are in for a treat when they get to exclusively experience the fantastic interactive holographic experience featuring the legendary Robin Hood.”

University of Birmingham Associate Professor Taufiq Asyhari said:

“Having worked on this cutting-edge robotic technology for the past year, we are thrilled that this pioneering robot ranger dog now has a name.”

Sam’s teacher, Collette Jeffrey, added:

“I’m delighted for Sam. He has a great passion for climate change issues and it’s something we’ve been teaching for a few years here at Kings.

“His classmates are very excited to participate in the interactive experience.”

Funding for the £10 million 5G Connected Forest program comes from DCMS’ Rural Connected Communities program, complemented by consortium partners, trained by university researchers and local businesses.

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