UCL News


A personal appearance by CRONOS the robot

10 September 2007

The next event by Tesla Art & Science Group - based in UCL Computer Science - is a visionary investigation of machine consciousness, featuring a demonstration of state-of-the-art robotics research.


Guest speaker Owen Holland is Professor of Computer Science at the University of Essex.

Machine consciousness - the theoretical and practical study of the ways in which a conscious machine might be built - is one of the newest and most exciting sub-disciplines of engineering. This talk, 'Towards a Technology of Consciousness', will feature the CRONOS project, an EPSRC-funded exploration of a robot-centred investigation of the role of internal modelling in consciousness.

Professor Holland says: "Our theory is that your consciousness is strongly associated with your internal model of yourself - so strongly that, in a sense, you ARE your internal model of yourself. CRONOS is a specially developed and uniquely human-like robot, with a skeleton and elastic muscles similar to our own. Alongside CRONOS, and soon to be inside it, is SIMNOS - an accurate physics-based software model of CRONOS's body, capable of mimicking its movements and its interaction with the environment. We also have a sophisticated neural network modelling system, some state-of-the-art computer vision, and some very difficult control problems."

In this talk Professor Holland will describe the theory behind the project, some of the technology used or developed, and how far computer science is along the road to machine consciousness. He will also speculate about why some aspects of this project seems to appeal so strongly to the arts community, and how that community may be able to contribute to its future development.  

The talk will take place on 12 Sep at 6 pm, in Eng 1.03, Malet Place.

To find out more, use the links at the top of this article

Image: CRONOS the robot


UCL context

The Tesla Art and Science Group was established by Gordana Novakovic, UCL Computer Science Artist-in Residence. Tesla is an informal art and science discussion forum dealing with visionary ideas beyond the existing remits of art and science. It aims to form and nurture cross-disciplinary teams, projects, and networks, and to assist with applications for funding.