The fifth annual Skolkovo Robotics event opened at the Skolkovo Technopark on Friday with a greeting from space.

Cosmonaut Oleg Novitsky addresses the Skolkovo Robotics conference from onboard the ISS. Photo:

Cosmonaut Oleg Novitsky, who is currently on a mission onboard the International Space Station, wished those attending the conference success via a video link set up by Roscosmos, Russia's federal space corporation. Noting that robotics have become a feature of everyday life, not least in the space industry, he urged the roboticists present to make robots that will make the lives of humans easier.

“The future of robotics is in your hands,” he said.

Now in its fifth year, Skolkovo Robotics is bigger than ever. When the event’s founder, Albert Yefimov, was organizing the first event, he simply wanted to see whether there was a robotics industry in the country, he recalled.

“This year, more than 5,500 people have registered to attend, and we have 36 speakers, and 18 master classes in which nearly 1,000 people are taking part,” he said.

“Robotics in Russia has grown into a commercial civic industry.”

In addition to the conference and master classes – many of which are designed for children from as young as six – Skolkovo Robotics also comprises a large exhibition of robotics projects, in which robot makers from across Russia are demonstrating their creations.

The conference proceedings can be watched online here.