RS Components (RS) is planning to bring innovation to the doorstep of its customers and academe through a Grand Tour of UK, North and Central Europe, dubbed RS Live. The base will be a lorry. Not any old lorry.

This 35 tonne behemoth houses a presentation area where RS will be able to guide visitors through an entire product lifecycle from design to build to production to maintenance. It showcases RS strengths in both electronics and maintenance and repair with demoes of the DesignSpark software, 3D printing, LED lighting, thermal imaging backed by an array of tools and protective clothing.

It can be adapted to focus on a specific customer area of expertise, for example,  automotive or medical applications.

Six notebook computers based on the Raspberry Pi have been installed and these will come into play at schools where students will be encouraged and helped to try their hand at coding.

RS sees a potential to influence the uptake of engineering to prevent a future skills gap in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) subjects. RS Live will act as an engaging educational resource for children and young people across a broad cross section of ages, from primary school to university undergraduate level.

Lindsley Ruth, Group Chief Executive at Electrocomponents, commented: “As a business that serves a very broad engineering community, we have a responsibility to promote the importance of engineering as an academic discipline and to nurture the next generation. RS Live is enabling us to reach out to youngsters from an early age, to enthuse them through technology in action.”

A road test was undertaken at an engineering company last week –“150 engineers visited in one day,” says Mike England, UK Country Manager and Head of Region for North Europe at RS before an official launch at Ark Burlington Danes Academy in west London, the first of many schools and educational establishments RS plans to visit.

A group of Year 7 students visited RS Live, enthused by the Raspberry Pi-powered laptops, the 3D printer and the results from a thermal imaging camera.

RS Live will tour the UK over the next two months before heading to Munich for electronica (Nov 8-11).


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