Cornish robotics pioneer completes TEDxTruro line-up

Picture By Jim Wileman – Will Jackson and his robots, pictured in Penryn, Cornwall, at Engineered Arts Ltd.

The final speaker at TEDxTruro on 27 October will be Will Jackson of Engineered Arts, the Cornish company whose humanoid robots are in demand all over the world.

Will’s talk, which will be delivered by RoboThespian, one of the robots he has created, is entitled ‘Robots, AI and why the butler didn’t do it’ and will explore the difference between robots and artificial intelligence.

TEDxTruro will take place on Friday, 27 October at Truro & Penwith College’s Truro campus.

TEDxTruro curator and co-licensee Mandy Reynolds said: “Our theme this year is ‘Beyond Barriers’ and we felt it was important to explore what the advances in robot technology means for all of us. We also wanted to celebrate the incredible work in this area that is happening right here in Cornwall. It is not an over-statement to call Will Jackson a pioneer. The robots he and his team at Engineered Arts create are being used world wide. I can’t wait to hear – and see – what Will and RoboThespian will bring to TEDxTruro.”

Will Jackson is the director of Engineered Arts, the market leaders in the design and manufacture of full sized humanoid robots, which are now operational in over 20 countries, with customers including NASA, Science Museum London and Copernicus Science Centre in Warsaw

Will Jackson added: “Many people don’t understand the difference between robots and artificial intelligence. At TEDxTruro we will explore what it means to be artificial and not intelligent in a world where main stream media myths and confusion skew our understandings of robotics and our interpretation of AI.”

Will joins the 15-strong speaker line-up for TEDxTruro 2017.Speakers include Will Coleman the driving force behind Cornwall’s award winning Man Engine, the UK’s largest mechanical puppet, which toured the county’s historic tin mining locations in 2016, celebrating 10 years of World Heritage Site status.

Fifteen-year-old Bimini Love from Newquay created Street Cramps to help homeless women in Cornwall by providing free sanitary protection products. She will talk about period poverty and explain how one person can take action, which can help improve the lives of many.

Susie Green is the CEO of Mermaids, a charity that supports gender variant children, young people and their families. Susie will share her story at TEDxTruro and talk about her daughter Jackie’s transition, which happened at a time when there was little discussion or understanding about transgender issues. Jackie is happy in her own skin now, but society’s attitudes towards transgender people means that every day is still a challenge.

Laura Penhaul was the team leader of the Coxless Crew who set two world records in January 2016, when they undertook an epic nine month unsupported row across the Pacific. Laura will discuss resilience, drawing on her own experience, as well as others who have pushed themselves to achieve the seemingly impossible.

Other speakers will cover topics including neurodiversity, what happens in our brains when we hear music, cell barriers and inclusion.

Tickets for TEDxTruro 2017 are available now, priced £50 each (plus an admin fee of £3.86) here.

TEDxTruro is a full day event, and the ticket price includes refreshments.


“Highly likely to recommend based on the speakers and content. TED talks are very inspiring so to have the opportunity to attend is great.”