Date of release: Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Professor Simeon Keates and RoboThespianStanding tall and able to talk, sing and move its head, arms, hands and fingers, RoboThespian has arrived in Medway to give students the opportunity to use some of the most sophisticated programmable robotic technology developed in the UK.

RoboThespian, a full-sized, fully interactive humanoid robot, has taken up permanent residence in the University of Greenwich’s Faculty of Engineering & Science. It has also been attracting significant media interest, featuring on BBC South East Today ‘live’ from the Medway Campus, and in regional press.

Developed in the UK, RoboThespian is designed to interact with people in a public environment, and provide a platform for academic research and study.

Its main role will be to help students consider how we could adopt robotic technology in the future, and develop solutions for how people might use them in their home or work environment.

Operated via a touch screen console, RoboThespian combines high-level computer programming with a series of air compressors and motors, and stands on a base from where it can move its limbs, speak and interact. 

The £60,000 investment in RoboThespian marks an important step in the university’s plans to establish a Robotics Laboratory at Medway.

When not working with the students, RoboThespian will be making visits to local schools and colleges to introduce young people to the advantages of studying for careers in robotics, engineering and design.

Professor Simeon Keates, Professor of Engineering, said: “We believe RoboThespian will inspire our students and the local community and demonstrate how we could use robotic devices through smart technologies, environments, entertainments and in areas such as telecare, in the future.

“It is important that our students have the opportunity to work closely with this emerging new technology and help us develop ways of improving the interaction between humans and robots on repetitive tasks.

“We will also be taking RoboThespian to visit local schools as we believe it will spark young peoples’ interest in a career in robotics, engineering and design.” 

Thanks to the latest computer technology, RoboThespian will enable students to consider new applications and programming as part of their high-level projects.

Story by Public Relations