Youngsters enjoy the power of robots at Swindon technology workshop
Mention the word 'engineering' to the average 13-year-old these days and they normally ignore you - but not in Swindon this week.
Thanks to local car giant Honda, thousands of Swindon schoolchildren have enjoyed a day being inspired by all things mechanical, electrical and technological - including meeting the world's most advanced humanoid robot.
As close to human as you can get:
Honda's fascinating ASIMO
Surrounded by the motivating sight of vintage planes and cars on display at the Science Museum in Wroughton, pupils were invited to the Honda 'Dream Factory' to take part in a week-long programme of events entitled 'making sense of engineering'.
Honda Dream Factory
Varied tasks included pupils designing and building special paper aeroplanes to gain a greater understanding of how jet aircraft work, and devising a way to stop an egg breaking when dropped from a ladder.
Over twenty Honda technicians and tutors on-hand to guide inquistive minds in the right direction and answer questions.
pupils building robots in the Honda Dream Factory
The afternoon session producing a hive of activity as pupils experienced first-hand the the power of robots by building and demonstrating - and then being allowed to keep - their own mini-ones.
A speed-drawing competition set-up between a robot from Honda's Swindon plant and two teachers from a local school - which the teachers lost - producing the biggest cheer of the day.
pupils test out what they've created
But the true highlight of the afternoon was kept until the end with the appearance of ASIMO - the most sophisticated humanoid robot ever created, and who is the current star of Honda's TV adverts.
An amazing 4ft high mechanical device the company's advanced engineers have designed to perform a variety of often complex human tasks on command.
Advanced Step in Innovative Mobility:
ASIMO on stage
ASIMO enthralling the young audience with a demonstration on stage of walking, climbing and even dancing! (see video) that left everyone watching in no doubt that they'd just taken a fascinating glimpse into the future.
"He's absolutely incredible," said one pupil, "I can't quite believe how advanced he seemed. It was weird!"
"After seeing that, I have to say engineering isn't half as boring as I thought it was!"