HE HAS kissed pop star Rhianna, walked down red carpets, collaborated with will.i.am and been on stage at Wembley Stadium, but this unusual celebrity took time out of his busy schedule to stop by at a new school in Portsmouth.
Titan the Robot, who towers at 2.4-metres tall, was the star of the show at an open day held on Saturday to spark interest in the new University Technical College in Hilsea.
And the loud, charismatic robot didn’t disappoint and left prospective students and their parents amazed at the technology that powers his show.
Ethan McCullough, 13, from North End, was sung to by Titan, which is operated by an actor inside a partially-mechanised costume.
Ethan, who currently goes to Mayfield School, said: ‘It shows technology is quite advanced and how it can be put to good use for our entertainment. It is amazing.’
Ethan was looking at the school, hoping to enrol into Year 10 in September for its first year, with the long-term ambition of learning more about the engineering skills involved in guitar production.
His dad Mark, 50, said: ‘Titan was excellent, I’m still wondering if there was a man in there or not.’
Another family left in awe of the robot was the Beadnells, from Southsea.
Mum Claire was complimented by Titan, who called her Miss Moneypenny.
She said: ‘He came so close, it was quite scary. Your brain is telling you it is fine and that is all controlled, but your eyes are telling you something else!’.
Claire was with her husband, Rob, who is a navy Lieutenant Commander based at Whale Island, and their daughter Verity, seven.
Rob said: ‘We came for Titan but also for Verity, maybe she will come here one day. We think the school is a very good thing for Portsmouth as it offers something of real high-quality. We need more focus on Stem skills, it is important.’
Verity said she enjoyed meeting Titan again, having already seen him at the Devon County Show earlier this year.
She said: ‘I like him because he’s so funny and he squirts water from his eyes.’ As well as the performance from Titan, guests heard presentations from the school’s principal Ciaran O’Dowda, got a chance to speak to numerous employers which are backing the school such as BAE Systems, the Royal Navy and Raymarine, and went on tours of the building site.
Mr O’Dowda said the school, which places more emphasis on technically-oriented courses of study, was hoping to attract 170 students for its first year next September, growing to 300 by 2018 and 600 in 2019.
He said: ‘There’s a huge interest. It has been overwhelming and I anticipate certainly being full, possibly even oversubscribed, which is a fantastic place to be for a new school.’
More than 200 people went to the open day on Saturday, and a further 100 went to an open evening last week.
The building work is scheduled to finish next summer.