Jon Timmis

Wednesday, April 10 2013 at 7:30PM

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Castle Square, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 1RQ

Jon Timmis

What's the talk about?

 There is common perception that robots are set to take over the world, and humans somehow will be made to work for a new metallic master. The lines between fact and fiction are often blurred in many areas, robotics is no exception.

In this talk, Jon will discuss the limits of what robots are able to do, either when they work on their own or as they work as a "swarm". He will discuss work ranging from robots detecting strange chemical substances, to robots working together as a swarm to perform tasks that individual robots can not do, to swarms of robots attempting to repair themselves. However, whilst significant advances have been made in robotics, Jon will also discuss why we should not fear the "Terminator" robot for quite some time. In fact, sometimes they can not even manage to stay on a table, let alone direct the next revolution.

Jon Timmis is Professor of Natural Computation and holds a joint appointment in the Departments of Computer Science and Electronics at the University of York. He holds a Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit award, a senior research fellowship, for his work in self-healing swarm robotic systems. HIs work is highly interdisciplinary and Jon works a great deal with immunologists, developing computer models of immune system function to aid understanding of various diseases and then translating ideas from immunology into engineering to develop reliable robotic systems. Details of his research can be found at