Dr Nick Hawes

Reader in Autonomous Intelligent Robotics

School of Computer Science
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 2TT
United Kingdom

Email: n.a.hawes@cs.bham.ac.uk
Twitter: @hawesie
Phone: +44 (0) 121 41 43739
Office: 133 (first floor, back right)
Office Hours: Weds and Fri 10:00 (term-time only)
Availability: Doodle MeetMe

My research interests lie in the application of Artificial Intelligence (AI) techniques to create intelligent, autonomous robots that can work with or for humans. I have worked on information-processing architectures for intelligent systems, the integration of AI planning techniques into a variety of robot systems, and the use of qualitative spatial representations to enable robots to reason about the possibilities for action in their worlds. My research is performed as part of the Intelligent Robotics Lab. I was part of the lab's efforts in the CogX and CoSy projects. Before this I was part of the Common Sense group at Media Lab Europe, which I joined after doing a PhD here with Prof. Aaron Sloman, sponsored by Sony Computer Entertainment Europe.

I am the coordinator of the the STRANDS project (Spatio-Temporal Representations and Activities for Cognitive Control in Long-Term Scenarios), a 4-year EU FP7 Integrating Project. Please see the project's website for more information.

Current Projects

  • EU FP7 IP: STRANDS, Spatio-Temporal Representations and Activities for Cognitive Control in Long-Term Scenarios (#600623)
  • EPSRC First Grant: Learning the structure and dynamics of human environments to support intelligent mobile robot behaviour (EP/K014293/1)

Current PhD students

Current Events

I currently teach the following modules:

Previously I taught:

I record all of my lectures and make them available online. This means if you want to sit one of these modules remotely, you can watch the videos and play along at home.

I am also the Outreach Coordinator for the School of Computer Science.

I had the honour to receive the Head of School's Excellence in Teaching and Learning Award in the 2010/11 and 2011/12 academic years (voted for by students), and the Head of College's Award in the 2010/11 academic year.

I am a passionate and energetic believer in public engagement about AI and Robotics, and science more generally. I have made a number of appearances on TV and radio discussing both the ideas behind my research, and the potential impact of robotics on society. I have also visited schools and education fairs to present robots and related research.

I was selected to give the Lord Kelvin Award Lecture at the 2013 British Science Festival. This honour is given to an active researcher who has demonstrated outstanding communication skills to a general audience.

In June 2012 I was the runner-up in the Sheffield DocFest Specialist Factual New Talent Pitch (the winner was Ami Banerjee, another University of Birmingham lecturer). In 2011 I won a place on a RAEng training scheme at the Cheltenham Science Festival, where I participated in two shows.

A showreel of some recent TV appearances is available here.

I am always looking for appropriate public engagement opportunities, so feel free to contact me if you wish to discuss something.

Recent Media and Events

Appearances in University Media