Next week over 20 robots will be arriving at the Museum for the Robotville Festival. Over the next few days we will be posting interviews with some of the roboticists to find out more about their research projects and the cultural implications of these latest developments in robotics.
This is your chance to submit any questions you would like them to answer. Have a read of their biographies below and submit your questions via the comments.
Alan Winfield is Professor of Electronic Engineering and Director of the Science Communication Unit at the University of the West of England, Bristol. He conducts research in swarm robotics in the Bristol Robotics Laboratory.
A robot swarm is a collection of relatively simple robots that interact with each other and with their environment, in ways that are inspired by the behaviour of the social insects. Even though the individual robot behaviours are simple we see fascinating group behaviours, such as flocking, emerge.
At Robotville Alan Winfield will demonstrate a swarm of miniature two wheeled mobile robots called e-pucks. Within the swarm, one group of robots are programmed with three simple rules which allow them to flock as a group. Another group of robots artificially ‘evolve’ their movement behaviours by both simulating and sharing solutions with one another whilst they move around.
Dr Nick Hawes, is a lecturer in Intelligent Robotics at the University of Birmingham and will be bringing Dora The Explorer to Robotville. Dora is a mobile robot with a sense of curiosity and a drive to explore the world. Given an incomplete tour of an indoor environment, Dora is driven by internal motivations to probe the gaps in her spatial knowledge.
Dora will actively explore regions of space which she hasn’t previously visited but which she expects will lead her to further unexplored space. She will also attempt to determine the categories of rooms through active visual search for functionally important objects, and through ontology-driven inference on the results of this search
Peter McOwan is currently a Professor of Computer Science in the School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science at Queen Mary, University of London. His research interests are in visual perception and mathematical models for visual processing.
Peter will be showcasing software he has built that helps robots understands our emotions. This software will allow us to programme robots to understand how we feel, enabling them to respond to our various moods.
Please submit your questions in the comments below!