Skip to main content

Robot man Theo's creation for BBC Christmas

Thursday 21 December 2017

The BBC challenged robotics expert Theo Theodoridis to build a robot to live with Linda Bowles, who has multiple sclerosis. The result is on BBC2 over Christmas.

EVER MET a robot who can tell you a joke? Well,a University of Salford lecturer has built a robot from scratch which can dojust that … and a dozen things besides, writes Polly Riggs

Dr Theo Theodoridis built ‘Carrie’ over four months thissummer – not just because he likes building robots (although he does) but for anew BBC show screening this Christmas.

His creation – ‘Carrie’ – is one of the stars of‘Six Robots and Me’ and the only robot in the documentary built entirely fromscratch.


Designed as a home-help for people who need it,Carrie can sense falls, carry trays and sound an alert if any medication ismissed, or the gas is left on!

She can also ‘map’ a room, gaining a sense ofspatial awareness and directional perception, meaning she can obey complexcommands related to the room she is in.

The BBC filmed Carrie for a fortnight livingwith Linda Bowles, who has multiple sclerosis, and her husband Neil in their Suffolk home.

Because Carrie can speak, recognise voices andfaces, and has the ability to learn, Dr Theodoridis says that the Bowles’learned to really engage with her ‘personality’, and loved having her aroundthe house.


Dr Theodoridis, who has worked on human-robot interactionfor NASA, believes we are not too far away from seeing service bots become acommon feature in the home.

“Once the robots becoming affordable, I canenvisage them being available to buy within the next ten years or so,” saysTheo.

The show also features ‘ChefBot’ – programmed byDeepak Ajayakamar, a recent graduate from the Salford MSc in Robotics andAutomation.  

ChefBot has the ability to independently carryout simple cooking tasks such as making tea, coffee and toast, and even make anomelette!

‘SixRobots and Me’ will air on 27 and 28 December on BBC2.