There is a possibility that to commemorate the 100th birth anniversary of the founder of computer science Alan Turing, a robot may carry the Olympic Flame for the 2012 Olympic Games. LlyodsTSB has asked for nominations for the 800 torch bearer slots it has.
James Law from the Aberystwyth University has nominated a cognitive humanoid robot called iCub for the task. Law said that the iCub is the same size as a three year-old child. It will be able to crawl on all fours and sit up, its hands will allow dexterous manipulation, and its head and eyes are fully articulated. It has visual, vestibular, auditory, and haptic sensory capabilities.
He added that a robot torch bearer would be a fitting tribute to Alan Turing, and an inspiration to future generations of scientists and engineers. The iCub has been developed by the Italian Institute of Technology the University of Genoa, Italy and Etisalat University College of the UAE. However being foreign born will not affect the chances of the robot to be a torch bearer as long as he resides in the UK.
James Law said that Alan Turing was widely known for his role in developing computing methods for code breaking in WWII, but this was only a small part of his truly inspiring work. He created one of the first designs for a stored-program computer and laid the foundations for the field of Artificial Intelligence. These achievements led to the computerized era we live in today, and prepared the way for the robotics research being carried out here at Aberystwyth University said James Law.