The Robotics Revolution

Affiliated Academics

Armin Krishnan
International Affairs
East Carolina University
Bertram Malle
Brown University
Colin Allen
Indiana University
Igor Aleksander
Imperial College London
Chad Jenkins
Computer Science
Brown University
AJung Moon
University of British Columbia
M. Bernardine Dias
Computer Science
Carnegie Mellon University
Michael Littman
Computer Science
Brown University

While artificial intelligence and robotics have long been themes in science fiction, they are rapidly becoming a reality. These advances raise complicated ethical, political, and scientific questions.


To address these questions, Footnote is collaborating with academic contributors from fields as diverse as computer science, philosophy, psychology, engineering, and political science to document the latest robotics innovations and examine their scientific and societal implications. Brown University’s Humanity-Centered Robotics Initiative in particular has provided valuable guidance and contributions.


This forward-looking series aims to inform our readers about which possibilities are more science than fiction and how to prepare for these changes as a society and as individuals. Articles explore the future of the economy, warfare, education, social interactions, and other facets of our existence where robots and intelligent machines are likely to play a significant role.

Building the Emotional Machine
Angelica Lim, Kyoto University
To create robots with feelings, researchers are programming them to learn and develop emotion the way human children do.
Teaching Robots To Behave Ethically
Bertram Malle, Brown University
Can we teach robots to have a moral compass?
Microbots, Robot Swarms, And Other News From The Future
Sabine Hauert, University of Bristol & Hallie Siegel, Robohub
The team from Robohub talks about the hype, the science, and how to understand what’s really happening in cutting-edge robotics.
The Path To A Programmable World
Michael Littman & Samuel Kortchmar, Brown University
How responsive devices – and simple systems for programming them – will shape the world to fit our needs and preferences.
What Should A Robot Do? Designing Robots That Know Right From Wrong
AJung Moon, Univ. of British Columbia
A new approach to programming robots by developing an ethical framework to guide their behavior.
Machine Consciousness: Fact Or Fiction?
Igor Aleksander, Imperial College London
To build a conscious machine, we must first understand what makes us conscious.
From Disembodied Bytes To Robots That Think & Act Like Humans
Colin Allen, Indiana University
Our idea of what an intelligent machine looks like is evolving as scientists discover that human thought extends beyond the brain.
Why Intelligence Requires Both Body And Brain
Colin Allen, Indiana University
Scientists are studying how the entire body, not just the brain, aids us in cognitive tasks.
Automation, Not Domination: How Robots Will Take Over Our World
Chad Jenkins & Alexandra Peseri, Brown University
Roboticist Chad Jenkins clears up the questions people most often ask him about robots.
Robots, Soldiers, & Cyborgs: The Future Of Warfare
Armin Krishnan, East Carolina University
A glimpse into the future of robotic technology on the battlefield.
How Will Robots Transform Us?
Bertram Malle, Brown University & Suzannah Weiss, Footnote
A look at the possibilities and questions raised by the increasing role of robots in our lives.