Robotics: A Very Short Introduction

Cover image: Swarm Intelligence

Cover Image: Swarm Robotics








Alan FT Winfield
Professor of Electronic Engineering, UWE Bristol
Visiting Professor, Department of Electronics, University of York
Director of the UWE Science Communication Unit

Faculty of Environment and Technology
University of the West of England, Bristol
Coldharbour Lane, Bristol BS16 1QY
Phone: +44 117 328 2644
Email:  Alan.Winfield (at)
Skype: alanftwinfield

Welcome to my home page. I'm an engineer and academic at UWE Bristol, and I conduct research in mobile robotics within the Bristol Robotics Lab.

I am deeply interested in mobile robots for two reasons: (1), they are complex and potentially useful machines that embody just about every design challenge and discipline there is and (2), robots allow us to address some deep questions about life, emergence, culture and intelligence in a radically new way, that is by building models. Thus, robotics is for me both engineering and experimental philosophy.

I'm committed to the widest possible dissemination of research and ideas in science, engineering and technology and I believe that robots provide us with a wonderful vehicle for public engagement. Actually I would go a stage further and argue that intelligent robots will become ubiquitous in the near future and we therefore need to start a dialogue now about the ethical and moral questions that will arise.

Blog + Twitter
  Short Biography
  Press and Media
  LinkedIn profile
Current Projects:
  euRathlon blog posts
  Symbrion blog posts

Recent Projects:
Artificial Culture blog posts
  Robotic Visions blog posts
  Walking with Robots blog posts
Research students
New stuff:
Keynote for EUCog meeting: Alan Winfield at #robotsandyou Ethical robotics: Some technical and ethical challenges

Talks Coming Up

Friday 8 November 2013, Talk at Swindon Philosophy Society, Swindon.

Wednesday 27th November 2013, Workshop session on Academic Blogging, with Dr Tom Crick, Engage 2013, Bristol.

Wednesday 27th November 2013, Talk for Science Museum Lates, Science Museum, London.

Selected recent papers

Eiben AE, Bredeche N, Hoogendoorn M, Stradner J, Timmis J, Tyrrell A, Winfield A (2013), The Triangle of Life, pp 1056-1063 in Advances in Artificial Life, ECAL 12, MIT Press.

Erbas MD, Winfield AFT and Bull L (2013) Embodied imitation-enhanced reinforcement learning in multi-agent systems, Adaptive Behavior. Online 29 August 2013.

Bjerknes JD and Winfield AFT (2013) On Fault Tolerance and Scalability of Swarm Robotic Systems, pp 431-444 in Distributed Autonomous Robotic Systems, Springer Tracts in Advanced Robotics, Volume 83, Eds. A Martinoli et al, Springer-Verlag, Springer Berlin Heidelberg. Download pdf (accepted version).

Woodman R, Winfield AFT, Harper C and Fraser M (2012), Building Safer Robots: Safety Driven Control, International Journal of Robotics Research, 31 (13), 1603-1626. Download pdf (accepted version).

Dixon C, Winfield A, Fisher M and Zheng C (2012), Towards Temporal Verification of Swarm Robotic Systems, Robotics and Autonomous Systems, 60 (11), 1429-1441. Download pdf (accepted version).

Grand, A., Wilkinson, C., Bultitude, K., and Winfield, A. (2012), Open science: a new "trust technology"? Science Communication, 34 (5), 679-689.

Bredeche N, Montaniera J-M, Liu W and Winfield AFT (2012), Environment-driven Distributed Evolutionary Adaptation in a Population of Autonomous Robotic Agents, Mathematical and Computer Modelling of Dynamical Systems, 18 (1), 101-129.

Updated 5 Nov 2013