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Robots have come a long way since the early days of strange-talking tin cans. We are now potentially on the cusp of a robotics revolution, with robots set to interact with humans on a level never seen before. Teachers, care workers even your best-friend of the future could be synthetic, but what about the organic world, how can nature influence the synthetic and are we ready for such a future? Please note that this event takes place on the ground floor and is accessible for those with impaired mobility. Alcohol, hot and cold drinks will be on offer and there will cakes and snacks available.
Are Friends Electric?
Professor Tony Prescott (Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience)
Robots and AIs are becoming more social. Could Alexa or Siri one day be your best friend? TV shows like Humans and Westworld suggest that robots could be surrogate partners? Could we one day have personal relationships with robots? Is it happening already?
Go to the bee and be wise
Professor James Marshall (Professor of Behavioural and Evolutionary Theory)
The humble honeybee worker is increasingly being recognised as a smart little lady. Individually, she can learn to navigate over many miles to interesting things such as flower patches, and even learn abstract concepts, all with a brain of only 1 million neurons. A swarm of her and her sisters can employ sophisticated communication to act as a collective brain, deciding on a new nest site, all without centralised control. Engineers in Sheffield are now realising that if we go to the bee and be wise, we might design better algorithms for controlling flying robots, and robot swarms.
Dr Iveta Eimontaite (Postdoctoral Research Associate, Sheffield Robotics)
The progress of technology is leading us into the 4th industrial revolution (Industry 4.0), where collaborative robots, or ‘cobots’, will blur the boundaries between traditional manual and automated manufacturing processes. However, advances in AI and robotics are also generating concerns amongst workers. The talk will discuss how graphical signage can impact the human-robot interaction efficiency as well as how various information communication methods influence robot user’s acceptance, confidence and attitudes towards robot in manufacturing.