Hyper Evolution: The Rise of the Robots
Clips from this programme
Introduction: The fast evolution of Robotics (Dr Ben Garrod + Professor Danielle George MBE), 9 million Robots and counting, ligaments and tendons reproduced, threat to humanity?Duration: 04:38
Japanese Robots made in our own image, Erica (Creator Professor Hiroshi Ishiguro) in autonomous conversation, facial expression, a silicon skin, emotions are programmable (Dylan Glas, Hiroshi Ishiguro Laboratories ) for relationships with humansDuration: 07:00
Japanese Robots made in our own image, Geminoid an android in Professor Hiroshi Ishiguro image with a reverence we don't show in the WestDuration: 03:48
The West's distrust and fear of robots. Eric (1928), the first British talking robot (Replica in Science Museum, London (Curator Ben Russell), anthropomorphic fearsome robots, Rossum's Universal Robots (Karel Čapek), Terminator destroy the worldDuration: 04:11
Robots in the Real World: Mansfield Ohio once the home of robotics (Westinghouse Electric, 1937: Elektro), Moving robots competing for our jobs, a Robot salesman controlled by (Frank Ruth), speech, relaysDuration: 08:08
Robots in society: Hands like humans are developing and those unique to robots (Mini Car plant, Oxford), claws, stumps and 1-fingered hands, powerful & predictable arms for efficiency, now there are 3 million industrial robots worldwideDuration: 05:20
Walking Robots in society: By 2030 30% of our jobs could be taken by robots. Embrace the revolution in Japan (Waseda University, Tokyo), 2 leg (bipedal) balanced, autonomous walking robots (WHL-11), the pelvis evolution into Wabian 2 (Atsuo Takanishi)Duration: 07:13
Boston Dynamics, robotics liberated from human constraints, Atlas works across many terrains (Kevin Blankespoor, Boston Dynamics' VP of controls and autonomy), sensors, LIDAR and stereo vision, 3D printed aluminium, hydraulic muscles with veins, Big Dog, legs& wheels hybrid robot (Handle), Built resilient to the real worldDuration: 10:45
Hyper Evolution: The Rise of the Robots
First broadcast: 26th July 2017
Ben is unashamedly unnerved by the tremendous rate that robots are evolving, whilst Danielle is welcoming them with open arms. To make sense of Ben's fears and Danielle's optimism, they set out to investigate the evolution of robots - treating them as if they are an emerging 'species'. Ben meets one of the most humanlike robots in the world - the disarmingly charming Erica - who might be warm to the touch, but whose sense of humour falls decidedly flat. Their encounter seems weird enough until he meets her creator, who has made a robot twin of himself, and even has cosmetic enhancements to ensure they continue to look the same. He also finds out why it's so difficult for robots to walk like us. This episode uncovers the roots with our obsession with robots in human form, with a visit to the fearsome Eric - the UK's first robot - to unpack the deep distrust of robots inherent in western culture. Danielle meets an early pioneer of robotic movement, who led the way for robots to take over the workplace, and ends up in a sea of robot arms, working in beautiful robotic harmony at a car plant. She also meets the latest breed of robots at Boston Dynamics, who combine biology with technology. Videos of their extraordinary robots - inspired by humans, animals and machines in form - have spawned millions of hits on the internet.
First broadcast: 2nd August 2017
In this episode, Danielle and Ben investigate whether robots will ever become our friends, if we should trust them with our lives, and if one day they will even become conscious. The programme uncovers the roots of an essential ingredient of any relationship - the art of conversation. The presenters come face to face with a whole range of creations - from one of the first talking robots, Alpha, a 1930s gun-toting womaniser; and the one-sided conversations with Siri; or Valkyrie - a heroic female robot designed to pave the way for us to set up home on Mars; to a little robot called Kirobo - designed to be a companion on the International Space Station. Unbearably cute, Kirobo even has the body language off pat - turning and nodding as he speaks. Ben visits the first attempt to make a robotic brain - a 1940s tortoise born in Bristol - with a rudimentary awareness of its surroundings, before meeting its most advanced descendant - the driverless car. Can Ben overcome his inherent fear of robots and put his trust in a robotic car enough take his hands off the wheel? Finally, we meet some astonishing robots who aren't simply pre-programmed with facts about the world, they learn about it for themselves. The one-metre-high iCub not only looks like a child, but he learns like one. Just like a two-year-old he is learning to count on his fingers and is forming his own unique understanding of the world. As robots continue to evolve, Ben and Danielle consider the unsettling question of what it would mean if robots developed consciousness.