Robot speed-dating coming to London?

Say hello to the Shadow Dextrous Robot hand at Streetwise Robots, the Science Museum, London

If you're the kind of chap who a) doesn't have too many friends and b) secretly fetishes the robots in Star Wars (who doesn't?) you could be in luck. The London Science Museum is holding what sounds like android speed-dating* at an event next week. That can't be true, surely?

Well, maybe. The PR blurb for the Science Museum's 'Streetwise Robots' evening talks about going out, clubbing and - quite literally - making robot friends in future... and even throws in the tantalising possibility of romance. Best of all it promises that you can actually get your grubby mitts on some of the most advanced robots today, vis:

"Streetwise Robot attendees will be able to shake hands with Shadow Robot's Dextrous Robot Hand... have a dance with a two-metre high robotic snake..." and meet Merlin Avatar and the HaRT Animatron [sic], which - we kid you not - "is able to see and respond to human movements".

Sounds like a total mechanical-perv fest.

Robots are the future

The serious aim of the event, which takes place at the Science Museum's Dana Centre on Tuesday 6th May, aims to explore the role that robots will have on our social and emotional lives in future. Or as Noel Sharkey, chief judge of Robot Wars and the events facilitator puts it:

"Whether we like it or not personal service robots are running off the production line at a fantastic rate. They now out number industrial robots by more than 3 to 1 and robot dreams from the 1950s are just beginning to come true.

"This event is important for the public to engage with robots directly to find out what they want and what they don’t – what they love and what they won’t tolerate."

Attendance at Streetwise Robots is free, but you'll need to pre-book. The Dana Centre website has full details.

* It's speed-dating because you'll probably get a couple of minutes tops with each 'bot before being asked to move swiftly on