Sethu Vijayakumar//outreach and media//
Professor of Robotics & Microsoft Research-RAEng Chair


U. Edinburgh

Public Lectures, Outreach Activities and Media Engagements
  • Highlights: [TEDx Glasgow] [BBC Breakfast] [Valkyrie] [BBC Live Lessons] [Royal Society Keynote] [Tam Dalyell Prize Lecture] [BBC Scotland Learning] [El Hormiguero with Patrick Dempsey & Renee Zellwegger (in Spanish)] [UK Prime Minister]
  • 2018
  • Robotics in Society Annual Lecture, Victoria Gallery and Museum, University of Liverpool (June 18) [link]
  • TEDx Glasgow: Sending your Robot to Mars? List of things to pack. (June 1) [talk] [interview blog]
  • Press Release: HITACHI Central Research Lab on our 'Intelligent Warehousing Project' (May 28) [PR] [news]
  • Launch of the 'Our Future Scotland 2030' initiative at the Scottish Parliament (May 16) [event] [movie]
  • Pint of Science Festival: Designing Robots and AI for the Future (May 16) [Pint of Science] [Details]
  • Keynote at the OGTC Tech20 on the Future of Interactive Robotics (March 30) [link]
  • STV Live at Five about ECR and Edinburgh International Science Festival (March 29)
  • BBC Brainwaves with Pennie Latin (Jan 17) [BBC Radio Scotland Interview (30 min)] [BBC news article] [Brainwaves Homepage] [BBC Scotland news article]
  • 2017
  • Lecture series as part of GIAN program, Govt. of India: Prosthetics and Motor Control (Dec 5-9) [brochure]
  • Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE) Public Lecture at the Franco-Scottish Robotics Meet (Nov 15) [link]
  • Keynote at the IGD Leaders Forum: Dealing with Disruption, London (Oct 18) [Q&A link]
  • Keynote at the New Scientist Live festival, London (Sep 30) [link][teaser]
  • Judge, BBC Robot Wars 2017 [Robot Wars Official Page]
  • BBC Scotland Learning: Live at Glasgow Science Centre with Dallas Campbell (May 8) [Link]
  • Face to Face: Interview in Herald Scotland [link]
  • Edinburgh International Science Festival SIEMENS public lecture (April 13) [link]
  • Intelligent Warehousing Projects and RIKEN MoU, Japan (April 7, 2018) [link]
  • Keynote at the Global Robot Expo (GREX 2017), Madrid (Feb 3) [Link]['El Pais' Coverage]
  • 2016
  • Judge, BBC Robot Wars 2016 [Robot Wars Official Page][BBC2 Robot Wars Page][Robot Wars Wikia]
  • EPSRC Commentary on Future of Robotics and AI [blog][Huffpost Article]
  • Keynote at the UK-India Tech Summit, New Delhi with PM Narendra Modi and PM Hon. Rt. Theresa May (Nov 7-9) [Invite] [Chat with PM] [Keynote] [Panel]
  • Edinburgh-NASA Valkyrie Robot Documentary Series [Episode 1: Arrival][Episode2: The Project] [Episode 3: Media Coverage]
  • TechRadar interview on the modular bionics [article]
  • BBC and print media coverage of of the launch of the UoE-NASA Valkyrie Humanoid Robotics project
    [BBC 6'OClock News][BBC Breakfast][BBC Article][IEEE Spectrum][BBC Newsround][ECR summary]
  • Guest on 'El Hormiguero' with Pablo Motos, Renee Zellwegger and Patrick Demsey (Sep 15) [video link]
  • Expert on Live Lessons: BBC micro:bit launch, BBC Manchester (Feb 24) [robotics: 12 min] [Full lesson incl. Q&A: 40 min] [line-up] ]
  • Tam Dalyell Prize Lecture at the Edinburgh International Science Festival (EISF) 2016 (April 10) [Talk] [Science Festival Listing]
  • 'Unbottling the AI Demon' at the Edinburgh International Science Festival (EISF) 2016 (April 7) [EISF Listing]
  • Chair, British Science Association Robotics Debate (Feb 4) [link] [BBC Radio Interview clip]
  • 2015
  • Royal Society Keynote on Shared Autonomy for Interactive Robots as part of their Breakthrough Science and Technologies: Transforming our Future conferences (Nov 13) [link]
  • BBC World Service Interview (Newshour) on the Valkyrie Humanoid Robot project with NASA [interview]
  • Sharing Autonomy (& Responsibility): The Robots are Ready, Are you? A one-hour public lecture delivered as part of the Our Changing World Lecture series [link]
  • BBC News (Mar 23) and David Shukman talks about Edinburgh Centre for Robotics [webpage] [robot arm video] [news clip and page]
  • Intelligent Machines (Mar 17): Keynote as part of the SNN Symposium, Nijmegen, Netherlands [link]
  • TEDx Edinburgh (Feb 19): Shared Autonomy-The Robots are Ready, Are You? [link][radio interview (@1hr.18 min)]
  • 2014
  • Computers and Minds (Nov 21) Keynote as part of the Human Mind Project
  • Cafe Scientifique Edinburgh (Sep 26): Talk title: myRobots - Personalising Robotics [link]
  • School Outreach (Sep 11): Loretto  School- Sixth Form Lectures.
  • Launch of the Edinburgh Centre for Robotics [EPSRC][UoE]
  • IET Keynote Public Lecture (Sep 2): Robots That Learn, TAROS 2014, Birmingham [link]
  • London International Youth Science Festival (Jul 26): Keynote Lecture at the LIYSF2014 [link].
  • Future's Program 2014 (May 12 and May 16): Workshop entitled Robots: The Future of Mankind or Man of the Future? for Top Performing pupils (Level 9) from Schools around England in collaboration with Department of Education, University of Edinburgh 'Widening Participation' Team & the Russell Group
  • School Outreach (Mar 18): Canal View Primary School - Audience of around 200 children and staff from five different primary classes (Primary 4-7).
  • 2013
  • We have secured a £6.1M investment from EPSRC to establish a Centre for Excellence in Robotics in Edinburgh, in collaboration with Heriot-Watt University. [news][BBC news]
  • [short 5 min summary video of research on Robot Planning and Control, 2010]
  • Computer Society of India - School of Informatics Overseas Classroom Project (Feb 18-22) in Machine Learning, Robotics, Algorithms and Computational Linguistics, Coimbatore, India. [link]
  • 2012
  • Science Alive (Nov 16): The Alan Turing Centenary Lecture as part of Science Alive Hong Kong organized by British Council, Hong Kong Education Bureau and Hong Kong Science Museum [link].
  • Dux Awards 2012 (June 22): Workshop entitled Robots that Learn: Challenges for the Next Generation of Scientists for Top Performing pupils (Level 9) from Schools around England in collaboration with Department of Education, University of Edinburgh 'Widening Participation' Team & the Russell Group. [website]
  • British Council (May): Our research highlighted on the British Council's CUBED research pages [link]
  • My Inaugural Lecture  (April 25, 2012) [webpage] [video]
  • EISF 2012 (Apr 4-7): Live demonstrations of Robots (Variable Impedance Biped, Connect4 Playing Robot, Softball pitching Robot arm, Synchronized Dancing Robots) as part of the In Motion event of the Edinburgh International Science Festival (EISF 2012) at the grand gallery of National Museum of Scotland.
    [BBC News Coverage]
  • EPSRC (Apr): News coverage at EPSRC about our cutting edge research. [link]
  • School Outreach (Mar 20): St. George's School for Girls Science Day Presentations - Audience of around 60 children and staff from five different primary schools.
  • BBC Arabic: Science Report [Variable Impedance Robots] [Football Robots]
  • 2011
  • Featured on BBC Bang Goes the Theory (Series 5, Episode 3, 29 Aug 2011) [Timeline: 12:35~19:00][viewable for 2 months in HD on BBC iPlayer in the UK and afterwards (and outside UK), low res version .wmv, .mpg4]
  • EIFF Panelist (Jun 21): Panelist on the public debate 'Can Robots Really Have Rational Thought?' at the screening of The Terminator in the 65th Edinburgh International Film Festivalís Reel Science strand at the Edinburgh Filmhouse. Here is the link to the related Podcast produced by EU:Sci.
  • EISF Public Lecture (Apr 9-11, 3 shows): Road to RoboCup- A Question of Strategy at the 2011 Edinburgh International Science Festival -- 3 shows with a capacity audience of around 120 per show at Inspace.
  • 2010
  • Xmas Lecture (Dec 3): 2010 Edinburgh Neuroscience Xmas Lecture on 'What can Insects and Robots tell us About the Human Brain?' -- audience of over 400 [webpage]
  • EPSRC Outreach Video: Funded by EPSRC Pathways to Impact Award on the topic of Topology Based Motion Synthesis to promote awareness and understanding of publicly funded research [link]
  • School Outreach (Nov 10): St. George's School for Girls Robotics Presentation [school website] - Audience of around 50 children and staff.
  • Public Lecture (Oct 4): Robots that Learn in the series: Seven Keys to the Digital Future (supported by: Royal Society of Edinburgh and College De France) -- audience of around 200, excluding online audience. [link]
  • VideoWiki Podcasts (May 17): Public Outreach podcasts on popular robotic themes [Human Like Robots] [Mimicking Human Motion]
  • EISF Public Lecture (Apr 3-4, 5 shows): Road to RoboCup at the 2010 Edinburgh International Science Festival -- 5 shows with a capacity audience of around 120 per show at Inspace, Edinburgh.
    Press Coverage: [BBC] [Scotsman] [Herald]
  • EISF Public Lecture (Apr 16): The Uncanny Valley at the 2010 Edinburgh International Science Festival with Prof. David Perrett at Inspace, Edinburgh [Scotsman]
  • University Outreach (Jan 20-23): Kurukshetra 2010 Invited Keynote Talk at Anna University, India [link] -- audience of more than 500 staff and students [The Hindu] [The Lectures]
  • 2009
  • School Outreach (Dec 11): Keynote Talk at Microsoft Research THINK COMPUTER SCIENCE 2009 event -- Audience of over 400 school children from Cambridge [streaming video] [.wmv dowload]
  • Podcast (Nov 10): Invited International Robotics Podcast 'Robots', EPFL, Switzerland available online.
  • EISF Inaugural Lecture (Apr 5-6, 10 shows): ASIMO - Yesterday's Dream, Today's Reality at the 2009 Edinburgh International Science Festival, 10 shows with a total audience of around 8000 at the McEwan Hall.
    Video: [The show - 50 min]  [The making of video - 8 min]