The University of the West of England said in a news release that Professor Alan Winfield from UWE has been awarded a prestigious Media Fellowship to further his research and public relations work.
Winfield leads the Walking with Robots project which works in the lab and in public to entertain and education children about robots while gathering information about the children’s understanding and expectation of robots. In the video above, children learn how robot hands work by building one of their own. Why all this concern about how kids view robots? Winfield writes:
“Some fictional views of the future paint a very bleak picture of what could happen with intelligent robots, but equally robots could change the world for the better. The point is that we have a choice. The future is too important to be allowed to just happen – instead we and our children must own it.”
Winfield is also doing research on the origin of culture among humans and is performing experiments with artificial societies of robots to see if cultures and traditions evolve naturally. For more, see Walking with Robot’s 2008 report on Young People’s Views on Advanced Robotics (PDF format).