‘Emotional’ robot to make its debut in Bristol

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Pepper and GWS Robotics creative director David Graves
Pepper and GWS Robotics creative director David Graves

A humanoid robot trained to ‘understand’ emotions is set to make what is believed to be his first public appearance in Bristol.

Pepper, which is the latest member to join the GWS Robotics team, is a four feet tall robot which can talk, laugh, dance and even ‘feel’.

The public can interact with Pepper at the Being There Showcase at the Watershed on Thursday September 13.

The event will feature presentations from the Being There robotics researchers and quick-fire sharing sessions with the project leads – spanning technology, engineering, psychology and security.

GWS Robotics creative director David Graves said: “We look forward to introducing Pepper to the wider public, who will have the chance to talk to him and watch how he responds.”

Being There is a four-year project funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), which brought together five collaborative teams of researchers from the Universities of Exeter, Bath, Oxford, Cambridge (formerly at Queen Mary University of London) and the Bristol Robotics Laboratory (BRL).

The team has been working in collaboration with Watershed and a diverse range of creative practitioners to produce original work using state-of-the-art technologies and to explore current themes in robotics and public space.

Watershed’s Creative Director, Clare Reddington, and Being There project lead Professor Mark Levine (University of Exeter), will open the showcase together with celebrated British designer Sebastian Conran, who will give the keynote speech.

The showcase will end with a Robot Cabaret, hosted by Bill Thompson of BBC Click.

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