UK Robotics Week at Plymouth University
  • Portland Square Building, Plymouth University

Save event

To celebrate the first UK Robotics Week (25 June - 1 July 2016) Plymouth University organises an afternoon of academic presentations, followed by a public exhibition and debate on robotics and artificial intelligence. 

From 15:00 onwards you are welcome to a series of quick-fire academic presentations on cutting-edge robotics research by the University’s research team. At 17:30 there is the opportunity to visit the robotics labs at the University and see robots in action, all while having a drink and chatting to our research team. This will be followed at 19:00 by a public debate on 'Robots and Artificial Intelligence: bright future or impending gloom?'.


  • 15:00 - research presentations (venue: Plymouth Lecture Theatre, Portland Square Building)
  • 17:30 - robot and lab demonstrations and welcome drink (venue: Ground Floor and 1st Floor, Portland Square Building)
  • 19:00 - panel discussion (venue: Plymouth Lecture Theatre, Portland Square Building)


Robots and Artificial Intelligence: bright future or impending gloom?

As part of the UK Robotics week, Plymouth University invites you to attend a debate on robotics, artificial intelligence and its impact on society. An expert panel will consider whether robots and artificial intelligence pose a threat to society, whether these are technological breakthroughs from which we all will benefit, and whether the public is informed enough to understand this cutting  edge science and technology.

The media, supported by high profile figures such as Stephen Hawking and Bill Gates, warn us about the rise of robots. According to these report, robots and artificial intelligence will take our jobs, take over our lives and might even compete with us for the planet.

On the other hand, artificial intelligence and robots are used by millions every day, most often without us realising. Most daily activities, from using your smartphone, placing an order on Amazon, to looking up a flight schedule, rely on artificial intelligence and robotics.

So, should we be concerned about a robot uprising? What can robots currently do and what can’t they do? And what can scientists and engineers do to help the public separate fact from fiction?

The event, chaired by Professor Tony Belpaeme, brings Professor Iain Stewart, Professor Kerstin Fischer and Professor Angelo Cangelosi around the table for a debate. The panel also looks forward to questions and opinions from the audience.

This event is open to all and no booking is required. Seating in the lecture theatre is available on a first-come-first-served basis.

Contact Tony Belpaeme ( for further information.

About the Centre for Robotics and Neural Systems (CRNS)

The CRNS, part of the University's Cognition Institute, builds on the world-leading and international excellence performance in the field of computer science, cognitive robotics and neural computation. Please visit the above link for further information.

PJune 2016N
30 31 1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 1 2 3

Today's events

Panel chair: Professor Tony Belpaeme

Tony is Professor of Cognitive Systems and Robotics at Plymouth University. His research team studies how people and robots interact with each other, and how robots can learn and improve their performance over time. These robots are used to support hospitalised children, help in autism spectrum therapy and assist children’s learning in the classroom. 

Tony was the academic lead for the pan-European ALIZ-E project that set out to create a more socially-interactive robot, one capable of providing companionship to children in hospitals.

Panel member: Professor Iain Stewart

Iain is the Director of the Sustainable Earth Institute, Fellow of the Geological Society of London and President of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society. He is perhaps best known as presenter of geoscience programmes for the BBC, including the BAFTA nominated Earth: The Power of the Planet

Iain’s talent to communicate complex scientific insights to a wide audience will be valuable to communicating the latest results in AI and robotics.

Panel member: Professor Kerstin Fischer

Kerstin is professor for Language and Technology Interaction at the University of Southern Denmark. 

Her research focuses on the verbal interaction between humans and robots, her most important concern being how interaction succeeds, what mechanisms and processes are involved, what robot behaviours human users easily adapt to, what behaviours robots should be endowed with and how human-like these behaviours have to be. 

Panel member: Professor Angelo Cangelosi

Angelo is Director of the Centre for Robotics and Neural Systems at Plymouth University and Professor of Artificial Intelligence and Cognition. 

His main research expertise is on language grounding and embodiment in humanoid robots, developmental robotics, human-robot interaction, machine learning, and on the application of neuromorphic systems for robot learning.

Event photography and video
Please be aware that some of the University of Plymouth's public events may be attended by University photographers and videographers, for capturing content to be used in University online and offline marketing and promotional materials, for example webpages, brochures or leaflets. If for whatever reason, you or a member of your group, do not wish to be photographed, please make yourself known to staff working at the event on arrival or to the photographer.