In this episode we interview Owen Holland about his rediscovery of the first autonomous robot ever built, his research in artificial consciousness and his life-size 'anthropomimetic' humanoid robot which closely copies human muscular and skeletal structure.
Owen Holland is a professor at the University of Essex, UK with an interdisciplinary background in psychology and engineering. He is well known for his early work in biologically inspired behavior based robotics, including collective robot systems inspired by social insects, and his attempts to build an energy autonomous robot predator (slugbot) that hunted slugs and used them as its power supply.
More recently he has reconstructed examples of W. Grey Walter's tortoise robots originally built in 1948, which are widely considered the first examples of electronic autonomous robots. His main current research area is artificial consciousness, for which he has built an 'anthropomimetic' robot that copies the human body very closely, with realistic 'bones' and 'muscles'. He is also working on a networked swarm of miniature helicopters, the Ultraswarm.