The Robotville Festival took place from the 1-4 December but is now over. There will be more exciting robot-themed events at the Museum over the Christmas holidays .
The Robotville Festival will celebrate the most cutting-edge in European robot design and innovation – and explore the cultural significance of robots. You can meet over 20 unique robots and their makers, who will be on hand to demonstrate their work and talk to visitors.
Robotville is free but timed entry applies. Book tickets by calling 08708704868
Join us for Robot Speak, a series of free talks from robot specialists on 3 and 4 December covering everything from communicating with robots, to mimicking nature and robot ethics. Read interviews with the roboticists on our blog.
The festival was originally conceived by EUNIC London (European Union National Institutes for Culture), in partnership with the EU Cognitive Systems and Robotics Programme and the European Commission Representation in the UK.
RobotvilleEU is sponsored by Transformers: Dark of the Moon.
Meet the robots
The IURO project develops robots that can pick up information by talking to humans. The robot will eventually be able to find its way through towns and cities by asking people for directions.
Source: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Universität Salzburg
Concept was created to study how people react to a robotic face. Why are we drawn to lifelike technology? Interact with Concept and see his expression change as he watches and learns from you.
Source: Plymouth University; EPSRC
Nao's secret is his versatility. He can be programmed to do or say just about anything. Scientists are using him to explore how robots learn and how robots see. One day robots like Nao could be lending a hand in your home.
Source: Aldebaran Robotics. Image: Aldebaran Robotics
This colourful 1950s ladybird robot shows how living things learn and forget. It can be trained to follow a trail of light and remember its path. But after a while it forgets and has to be taught all over again.
Source: Dr Daniel Muszka; Foundation of the Computer, Szeged, Hungary; Balassi Institute, Hungarian Cultural Centre London Image: Patu Tifinger
Dora the Explorer
Dora is curious about the world and wants to explore her surroundings. She looks for objects to tell her what type of room she's in and can search for stuff you can't find.
Source: University of Birmingham and the CogX project. Image: Marc Hanheide.
Dexmart is a pair of independent robotic helping hands. From lifting a case of juice to holding your cookery book, their tactile sensors enable them to grasp and manipulate objects in the same way humans do.
Source: University of Bologna (Italy) in cooperation with Second University of Naples (Italy), University of Naples Federico II (Italy), University of Saarland (Germany)
You can tell a lot about what people are thinking just by looking at their faces. Flash is a robot with three extra heads - Romek, Samuel and Emys. Flash and its heads are an attempt to simulate human emotions in robots.
Source: Wrocław University of Technology; LIREC EU FP7 project. Image: Wrocław University of Technology
iCub helps researchers understand how the human brain develops. By playing with people iCub learns about itself and how to interact with the world around it.
Source: Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia; Italian Cultural Institute in London
Shadow Dexterous Hand
The Shadow Dexterous Hand can mimic all the movements of a human hand. It’s controlled by wearing a sensor-covered glove and has 40 ‘air muscles’ which make it move. Its delicate touch means it can be used in many ways, from handling test tubes to doing the washing up.
The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Community’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under Grant Agreement No. 222107 HANDLE. Image: The Shadow Robot Company
If you were to take a peek at Eccerobot’s insides, you’d find they are similar to your own. It’s anatomy is based on human bones, joints and muscles. This means it moves like we do, to pick up a ball or give a friendly handshake.
Source: Emerging Cognition in a Compliantly Engineered Robot – The Robot Studio; University of Sussex; AI Lab Zurich; Technical University of Munich; University of Belgrade Faculty of Electrical Engineering
This robot uses the same body movements as insects to propel it along at super speed. They say cockroaches can survive anything. This cockroach robot could one day be scuttling around nuclear power plants or even Martian landscapes.
Source: Structure and Motion Group, Royal Veterinary College; Kod*Lab, University of Pennsylvania. Image: Simon Wilshin / Royal Vetenary College
Spend some time with CHARLY and he might start to look eerily familiar. That’s because CHARLY’s projected face gradually morphs into the faces of those around him. He was designed to find out how people like their robots to look.
Source: University of Hertfordshire; LIREC EU FP7 project
KASPAR the child-size robot can’t walk, but he can move his arms and head and change his expression. Through play he helps children to understand emotions and how to interact with others. He plays games such as peekaboo and will laugh if you tickle his feet!
Source: University of Hertfordshire; EU FP7 project Roboskin