ELLESMERE Port faced an invasion yesterday as robots of all shapes and sizes took to the streets to welcome the latest addition to the town.

 Fab Lab is a digital fabrication laboratory that allows anyone living or working in the area to design and make almost anything they can think of.

Robots Shakespeare, Stryder and Condor wandered around The Port Arcades Shopping Centre, meeting and greeting members of the public who were shopping.

After their walk, the robots made their way to Fab Lab Ellesmere Port to join local children from the University Church of England Academy, who took part in an activities session designing and making their own mini-robots, jewellery and T-shirts.

Fab Labs – digital fabrication laboratories – were set up to inspire people and entrepreneurs to turn their ideas into new products and prototypes by giving them access to a range of advanced digital manufacturing technology. From games and sports equipment to artwork and electronics, if you have an idea, you can make it at Fab Lab Ellesmere Port.

Fab Lab Ellesmere Port is only one of eight UK Fab Labs and the second to open in the North West. It will open to the public at the end of August.

There are more than 150 Fab Labs all over the world connecting people, communities and businesses from Barcelona and Munich to as far away as India and Japan. In Afghanistan, people are fashioning customised prosthetic limbs, while shepherds in Norway have used their Fab Lab to create a system for tracking sheep using their mobile phones.

Joel Rae, interim manager of Fab Lab Ellesmere Port, said: “Fab Lab Ellesmere Port will mean real benefits for the town, by helping to stimulate entrepreneurship and business enterprise and offer members of the public of any age and abilities the opportunity to learn new skills, for free.”

For details visit the website  www.fab-lab-ellesmereport.org or call 0151 356 8018.