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SciRoc Symposium: Living with machines: The rise of urban robots

Organiser: The Open University

Venue: MK Gallery

Address: 900 Midsummer Boulevard
Milton Keynes

Date & Time: 18 Sep 2019 - 6:15 pm-9:00 pm


The Symposium, which will take place on Wednesday 18 Sept, from 6:15 to 9pm, at the MK Gallery ( in Central Milton Keynes, will provide a forum in which to discuss the risks and opportunities associated with the emergence of a “hybrid society”, where interaction with robots will become more and more ubiquitous. The event takes the form of a panel discussion, hosted by Richard Westcott, BBC Science and Technology Correspondent, and comprising experts drawn from different backgrounds (humanities and technology; academia, industry, and government). The aim is to ensure a lively discussion and a wide range of viewpoints. The composition of the panel is as follows:

Richard Westcott, BBC Science and Tech Correspondent (Chair)

Prof Tim Blackman – Vice-Chancellor (designate), The Open University

Paul Clarke, CTO Ocado

Prof Yvonne Rogers – Director of Interaction Centre at University College London

Geoff Snelson – Director of Strategy, MK Council

Judith Viladomat, Corporate Communications, PAL Robotics


6:15 – 7:15 – Reception: Drinks and Canapes

7:15 – 8:15 – Panel Discussion

8:15 – 9:00 – Networking/Drinks

9:00 – Event ends

The event is associated with the first ERL Smart CIty RObotic Challenge (The SciRoc Challenge –, which will take place in Middleton Hall, Central Milton Keynes, on 18-21 September. This robotics competition will see 14 teams from eight European countries compete in 5 episodes, such as serving customers at a coffee shop, picking and packing items in a supermarket, providing emergency medications, and others. The competition, the first of its kind, will take place inside the centre:mk shopping centre in Central Milton Keynes, which is visited by about 500K people every week. It will therefore provide a novel way to expose a large audience to state-of-the-art robotics technology.

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HM Government
European Regional Development Fund