Robotic Systems

  • Barry G. BlundellEmail author


Here we continue discussion on robotic systems and begin by considering claims that are frequently being made in relation to the possibility of developing technologies able to exhibit (rather than simulate) consciousness. Such claims are perhaps best evaluated by focusing on the nature of consciousness rather than on technological issues. With this in mind it quickly becomes evident that we have extremely little understanding of the profundity, complexity, and beauty of consciousness. When we pose questions such as ‘how do we experience an experience’ (of, for example, tasting a comestible, or the visual panorama of nature in springtime), or alternatively probe the mystery of ‘what am I’, we soon run into profound difficulties. Discussion presented offers no answers, but will hopefully provide an insight into a really fascinating area of study. The intention is to promote debate (which at times may be controversial) and demonstrate that claims regarding the possibility of developing conscious robots are at the very least to be considered with the greatest caution. In this chapter we also briefly examine autonomous motor vehicles and so-called humanoids. In addition we revisit previous discussion concerning aspects of human nature, matters concerning freewill, and question why an intelligent species would seek (with such enthusiasm) to direct its talents towards the development of robotic systems which have the potential to greatly disrupt the species activities and run the risk of becoming subservient to the species’ own creation.


Robots and employment Robots and consciousness Human consciousness Free will Humanoids Air France flight 477 crash Autonomous motor vehicles Driverless cars End of life experience Biobots  


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ManchesterUK

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