Sheffield Robotics and the University of Sheffield are happy to announce that we have received an AHRC grant for Cyberselves: How Immersive Technologies Will Impact Our Future Selves.

Cyberselves will examine the transforming impact of immersive technologies on our societies and cultures. Our project will bring an immersive, entertaining experience to people in unconventional locations, a Cyberselves Roadshow, that will give participants the chance to transport themselves into the body of a humanoid robot, and to experience the world from that mechanical body. Visitors to the Roadshow will also get a chance to have hands-on experiences with other social robots, coding and virtual/augmented reality demonstrations, while chatting to Sheffield Robotics’ knowledgeable researchers.

By collaborating with a wide cross-section of the public, industrial partners, educators and policymakers, we hope to understand better what people want, and do not want, from such technologies, so that these technologies are more genuinely useful to those people on whose lives they will have the most impact. We want to use our project to allow users to drive technological development, and have real, meaningful input into

(i) the public conversations on what these technologies are for, and what they are doing to our concept of ourselves as ‘humans’ in different ‘societies’,

(ii) the ethical and legal challenges that such technologies will inevitably force us to confront, and

(iii) the direction and design of the technologies themselves.

Over the course of our funding, we will host workshops that will seek to bring together academics, industry, users and the public in general. Details on these will be posted here as soon as they are available.

You can read all about our project here or on the Gateway to Research here.

This project is a follow-up to our 2014 Cyberselves In Immersive Technologies project; more information on that project is available here.

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