Birmingham's Household Robot Visits the Big City

Dora, the robot

Dora, a domestic robot devised and built by a group of European computer scientists led by the University of Birmingham, will make an appearance at the London Science Museum’s new exhibition of cutting-edge robots from the 1st – 4th December 2011.

Dora is a prototype domestic robot that is curious about its surroundings. It explores previously unseen environments to build up maps of its location that can be used when performing tasks for humans. It can work out which rooms are which by noting the presence of certain objects, for example, if it sees a kettle it knows it is in the kitchen, so if it has been asked to fetch a box of cornflakes it will also know that it is in the correct room to retrieve the object.

Dr Nick Hawes, a developer of Dora from the University of Birmingham’s School of Computer Science, said, ‘Our research aims are to produce intelligent robots to assist humans in normal environments. To do this we need to enable them to use their senses, and all available information, to solve complex problems and interact with humans in natural ways, such as through dialogue.’

Dora will be on display with 20 other unique robots including swarming and swimming robots, exploring and humanoid robots. Roboticists from the UK and Europe will be on hand to demonstrate their work and talk to visitors.

Dr Hawes continued: ‘This exhibition is a great way to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the word ‘robot’ which was coined by Czech writer Karel Čapek. We are delighted that Dora has been chosen to take part and will be displayed amongst the best and most innovative prototypes from all over the world.’

The exhibition is open from 1st – 4th December every day from 10am – 6pm and entrance is free. Dr Hawes will give a public lecture on ‘Artificial intelligence for household robots’ at the Science Museum on 4th December at 3.30pm.


Notes to Editors
1. Dora
Dora was created as part of the CogX project ( to support research into robots that can understand and extend their own abilities.
The CogX project:  The CogX Dora page:  

2. The Science Museum  
Visitor Information:
Science Museum, Exhibition Road, London, SW7 2DD. Open daily 10.00 to 18.00,
except 24-26 December. / 0870 870 4868.

For further information
Kate Chapple, Press Officer, University of Birmingham, tel 0121 414 2772 or 07789 921164