Episode 54 – Robot Talk Live

Episode 54 – Robot Talk Live

Robotics and Science Fiction


Robotics, artificial intelligence, and autonomous machines have become a necessity for our future world but what are the implications of robots for society and how much influence does science fiction have on how we embrace our new friends?

In this special live recording at the Great Exhibition Road Festival, Claire chatted to Glyn Morgan (Science Museum), Bani Anvari (University College London) and Thrishantha Nanayakara (Imperial College London) to explore how our intelligent friends from the world of science fiction match up with state-of-the art robotics and artificial intelligence reality.

Glyn Morgan is a curator of exhibitions at the Science Museum, most recently: “Science Fiction: Voyage to the Edge of Imagination” (open until August 20th). He also teaches a course on Science Fiction at Imperial College, and has published widely on many aspects of the genre writing for the Los Angeles Review of Books, the Royal Society, and the Science Fiction Research Association, amongst others. His research is interested in the interface between science fiction and other disciplines from history to psychology and beyond, and the ways science fiction can be used as a cognitive tool to help us understand ourselves and our society.

Bani Anvari is a Full Professor of Intelligent Mobility at the Centre for Transport Studies in the Faculty of Engineering at University College London (UCL). She is the founder and director of Intelligent Mobility at UCL. Her vision is to enable humans to trust and fully exploit the benefits of future mobility services through new technology and innovation. Her research focuses on Intelligent Mobility and exploring interactions with semi- and fully-autonomous vehicles in various contexts, benefiting significantly from Robotics and AI.

Thrishantha Nanayakkara is a Professor of Robotics and the Director of the Morphlab at Dyson School of Design Engineering (DSDE), Imperial College London. His group has used soft robots to understand how compliance of the body helps to stabilise dynamic interactions with the environment. He is and has been PI on projects of more than £5 million that have pushed the boundaries of our understanding on how conditioning the body improves the efficacy of action and perception in human-human and human-robot interactions.