Science Cafe, Adam Walton

The Rise of the Robots

This week's programme is devoted to robots and artificial intelligence. Adam and his guests consider how far the science of robotics has come, whether the creation of human-like machines is the ultimate aim of robotics and the difficult ethical issues involved in using robots for care of children and the elderly, policing and military purposes.

Adam is joined in the studio by Dr. Torbjørn Dahl, coordinator of the Robotic Intelligence Lab at the University of Wales Newport and Noel Sharkey, Professor of Artificial Intelligence and Robotics at the University of Sheffield.

We also visit AIR 2009, the Robotics Summer School which has just been held at Aberystwyth University. AIR stands for 'Autonomous Intelligent Robots' and the international research camp was aimed at Ph.D students and researchers working in robotics and other related fields. Reporter John Meredith went along to see one of the centrepiece projects of this year's event - a robot-controlled sailing boat.

And we hear how the subject of robotics is being taught at secondary school level. Mold Alun School in Flintshire has its own Robot Club where members are encouraged to build their own robot models. Science Cafe reporter Alex Bridges, who's a year 10 student at the school, went along to the Club to find out more.


AIR 2009

Prof. Noel Sharkey

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