I might be a robot but I am beautiful inside!

A robot beauty pageant took place at the University this week, featuring intelligent design by undergraduate students.

The final year students from the Department of Computer Science built the robots as part of a course in 'Intelligent control and cognitive systems'.

They spent 14 hours developing their robots before entering them in the pageant against their peers.

Dr Joanna Bryson who runs the course said: "Our robot beauty pageant is a voluntary competition between student designs, for the award of being 'UCAS Robot of the Year'.

"As with all contemporary beauty pageants, contestants were judged on their internal beauty - their talents and their skills - not their mere appearance.  Of course in this case the talent the robots show also reflects the talents, skills and effort of their student creators."

Ben Alton, Greg Skinner and Nicholas Pierce, left - right, with their robot designs.

Ben Alton, Greg Skinner and Nicholas Pierce, left - right, with their robot designs.

The parade was ultimately won by a robot named simply ‘J’ created by Nicholas Pierce and Sam Davies, both studying for a BSc (hons) in Computer Science.

'J' was designed using a laser and pressure pads that allowed it to navigate corners and move around a circuit while maintaining an equal distance from the circuit wall.

Dr Bryson said: "This unit is very popular with our students.  They get to learn about about intelligence and cognition in nature as well as in robots and consider big questions about the use of thought and the ethics of Artificial Intelligence.

"At the same time, the unit’s coursework gives them an opportunity to develop practical expertise in building artificial intelligence, not only for robots but for scientific simulations and computer games."

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