iPlayer Radio What's New?
Image for Robots for Humans

Listen now 28 mins

Listen in pop-out player

Robots for Humans

28 minutes
First broadcast:
Tuesday 29 January 2013

At the start of a new "What if" season on BBC World Service, a panel of experts on Click at the BBC's Radio Theatre asks: what if robots and humans sat down together to talk? Human/robot interactions are increasing every day but do we envisage robots as domestic servants, pets or professional friends? What activities might it be safe and advisable for robots to carry out in the proximity of humans? South Korea, for instance plans to install robotic teaching assistants in more than 8,000 kindergartens this year. But how will robots learn from us and us from them? If robots are ever going to be truly useful in domestic or social settings then this is the number one factor that needs to be addressed. Click's Gareth Mitchell and Bill Thompson are joined by a panel of experts including the leading roboticists Subramanian Ramamoorthy and Maja Mataric to debate the topic. The innovative theremin player Sarah Angliss also brings along her robot Hugo, and Peter Robinson is accompanied by the robot, Charles, modelled on the head of Charles Babbage. Comedy comes in the shape of a robot comedian called Data, along with her programmer, the roboticist, Heather Knight. And Benjamin Connell demonstrates how to build a Lego Mindstorm robot in the course of the programme.
(Photo: Rossum's Universal Robots: 1938 © BBC)


Featured in...

  • What If...

    A series of programmes about what the world of the future might be like.


  1. Image for Click


    How computers and digital technology affect our lives around the world. Presented by Gareth…

  2. Image for Science Hour

    Science Hour

    Science news and highlights of the week from BBC World Service. The Science Hour is a weekly…

  3. Image for Tech Tent: Business and Technology

    Tech Tent: Business and Technology

    Business and Technology news from the BBC's technology desk. Tech entrepreneurs and experts give…

  4. Image for Trending


    How social media is reshaping culture, politics and society, Trending explains the stories the world…

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Added. Check out your playlist Dismiss