5ft 2in red-head with an interest in arts and heritage seeks friendship and conversation – but nothing too serious as being a tour guide at The Collection keeps her busy.

Lindsey the robot has had a busy few months since she began working at The Collection, in Lincoln, but she is desperately searching for more people to talk to so she can continue to develop her functionality.

As an autonomously learning robot with the latest in Artificial Intelligence technology, Lindsey advances through interactions with the world around her.

Lindsey can already plan routes at the museum and avoid obstacles such as bags, pause at exhibits to offer facts and answer basic questions, all while learning from these interactions to develop a better understanding of what visitors are interested in.

She is part of a family of robots developed by the Lincoln Centre for Autonomous Systems at the University of Lincoln, with other robots in the family working in warehouses, farms and in care homes as part of projects to develop a greater understanding of the world around them.

Marc Hanheide, Professor of Intelligent Robots and Interactive Systems at the University of Lincoln, who is the project lead, said: “Placing a robot without supervision in a real-world environment always poses challenges, especially if it is a public, busy place like a museum.

“Lindsey operates autonomously, finding her way about the museum on her own, and improving tours and routes she takes by learning from her environment and interactions with visitors.

“Over the three-year project we hope to learn more about the requirements for robots engaging with the public and how this can help up further develop the long-term autonomy and adaption of the next family of Artificial Intelligence enabled robots here at the Lincoln Centre for Autonomous Systems.”

You can find out more about Lindsey by following her on twitter on @Lindsey_Robot or if you would like to meet her in person you can find her at The Collection daily between 10-4.

Lindsey is part of a wider project to develop robots which can operate autonomously around humans, and build upon outcomes of a collaborative EU-funded £7.2m STRANDS* project which created technologies for mobile robots that are able to operate independents. The project is the beginning of a long-term partnership between Lincolnshire County Council and the University of Lincoln, to further robotics technology to support education of the public and allow them to engage with the latest digital advances.

Original article: https://www.lincoln.ac.uk/news/2019/02/1515.asp