Media appearances

Dora the explorer at Robotville

In December 2011, our Dora the Explorer robot was invited to be part of the Robotville EU exhibition at the Science Museum in London. The exhibition was a great success, with about 8,000 people attending over the week. The range of visitors was huge, from toddlers to older people, and everyone had a different interest in – and reaction to – what was on display. Whilst Dora was not the most aesthetically pleasing robot on display (New Scientist described her as “a T-shirt on a stick“), this was swiftly ignored once people witnessed the artificial intelligence behind her ability to build maps, explore rooms and search for objects. People happily jumped in front of her to see what her sensors would show her and we had crowds of people following her as she explored. Interestingly, people regularly tried waving and talking to her, which demonstrates the expectations that already exist for intelligent robots.

Despite Dora’s abilities representing the cutting edge of Computer Science, our efforts to illustrate the underlying principles were almost always rewarded with the public understanding the ideas and asking us challenging questions. Many of our younger visitors also got a chance to drive Dora around the museum; producing more than a couple of robot collisions.

Dora’s abilities generated a lot of interest from the media. Some of the results of this interest can be seen in the links below.

BBC breakfast


The Sun


Nick Hawes for ideas lab podcast.

Dora the explorer in New Scientist.

Danica Kragic promotes robotics on the Swedish TV.

CogX on ORF.

On March 26, 2011 Austrian National Television channel ORF1 broadcast a show in its popular science series “Newton” on the subject of Artificial Intelligence. Amongst work from Austrian, German and Japanese groups the show also featured a demonstration of the Dora scenario as well as interviews with Jeremy Wyatt and Michael Zillich. This provided a good opportunity to present the main ideas of CogX together with an implementation of the theory in a running robot demonstrator to a wide non-scientific audience.

KTH CogX team in NyTeknik.

NyTeknik visited the CogX team at KTH to learn about the activities around the new Kinect sensor from Microsoft/Primesense. They got to see how we use it in the Dora system (picture) and for grasping and manipultion. NyTeknik is the largest weekly newspaper for tech and IT in Sweden with a weekly circulation of 155.000 papers.

Danica Kragic in weekly business magazine.

Interview with Danijel Skocaj for University of Ljubljana news.