The Engineer Q&A: domestic and humanoid robots

Your chance to ask our expert panel their views on the future of advanced robotic systems. 

The robots are coming. They’re already in our factories and creeping into our cars, but soon they’ll be in our homes as well, if the likes of Google and Dyson get their way. (Both firms have made recent investments in robotics research.) And these robots may even look something like us: just take a look at the droids being built and operated for the US government’s DARPA Robotics Challenge.

But what will these robots actually be able to do? How long will it be before they’re commonplace? And what dangers could they bring with them? Will people accept humanoid robots in their home or workplaces?

For our latest reader Q&A we want to hear your questions on the future of domestic and humanoid robots.

Answering your queries will be a panel of experts including:

  • Prof Noel Sharkey, Professor of Artificial Intelligence and Robotics at Sheffield University and an outspoken commentator on the dangers of robotic warfare;
  • Rich Walker, managing director of one of the UK’s leading robotics firms, Shadow Robot Company, which produces state-of-the-art robotic hands;
  • Dr David Bisset, former head of robotics research at Dyson and now a consultant on autonomous system design;
  • Dr Chrisantha Fernando, lecturer at Queen Mary, University of London, who builds robots to study the link between neuroscience and natural selection;

Use the comments box below to send us your questions and we’ll publish the answers in The Engineer magazine and website next month.