Robotics Guru says Science Fiction is now Science Fact


Physics and computer science students at The King’s School were shown how science fiction had already become science fact, by one of the country’s leading robotics engineers.

A former King’s pupil who is now a professor of Engineering at Southampton University, Dr. Richard Crowder was talking to tomorrow’s inventors about the increasing pace of the current industrial revolution and the breath-taking influence robotics technology is already having in all our lives.

Dr. Crowder told King’s top A Level students that, as Maxonians, they were “privileged to have an industrial heritage that saw the birth of industrial robotics technology with the advent of the Jacquard loom first used in the Silk industry in the early 19th Century.”

He added: “Now we see robotics technology applied across most modern, mass manufacture. In the future robots will increasingly do all the dirty, dull, difficult or dangerous jobs.”

From the automotive industry, to the development of prosthetic limbs in medicine, from farming thousands of acres more productively to mankind’s desire to explore the universe, Dr. Crowder said that the application of robotics technology with its combination of computing and engineering skills would be more and more valuable to both employers and society’s visionaries.

Dr. Crowder also warned of the ethical dilemmas posed by the increasing deployment of artificial intelligence even posing the question: “Just who will be responsible if a driverless car hits a pedestrian?”

King’s Head of Science Jim Street said: “Richard challenged our brightest young minds to see how they might contribute to this unstoppable force for change and how they might manage its consequences so everyone in society could benefit. He was a truly inspiring speaker who was delighted to come back to his old school and revisit his home in Kettleshulme.”

Dr. Richard Crowder is pictured with Ben Allmand-Smith and Sameera Lyons.