Urban Automation and Robotics

Innovation in automation, robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) presents challenges and opportunities for cities. Across multiple sectors – including healthcare, transportation, food production and security – automated urbanism is changing our interactions within, and experiences of, the city.

Opportunities to support urban living, manage services more efficiently and respond to ecological turbulence are set against issues of morality, trust, control and widening social disparities.

The programme undertakes conceptual and empirical work to understand how innovations in automation, robotics and AI are shaping urban experiences, decision-making and infrastructures.

Research Question

– Can urban automation and robotics be understood as a distinctive socio-technical field and what are their potential urban implications?
– How are experiments in automation, robotics and AI shaping decision-making and processes in different domains of urban life?
– What forms of humanmachine interactions are developing and how do they shape our capabilities and experiences?
– How is non-human decision-making creating more adaptable and/or centralised logics of urban control?

News

August 2, 2018 in Event, Urban Automation, Urban Automation Event

3 September 2018 – City Data Commons and Ethical Standards for Digital Transformation

Where: ICOSS conference room, 5:30 -7:00pm Speaker: Francesca Bria is the Digital Innovation Commissioner of Barcelona, Spain Barcelona City Council has created an Office for Technology and Digital Innovation that Bria leads, showing a firm belief in the importance of data…
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July 12, 2018 in Opinion, Urban Automation

Three ‘living labs’ which show how autonomous robots are changing cities

This blog was written by Rachel Macrorie and originally appeared in The Conversation on 12 July 2018. Ready or not, autonomous robots are leaving laboratories to be tested in real-world contexts. With more and more people living in cities, these technologies…
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Projects

Knowing: The KNOWledge politics of experimentING with smart urbanism: Comparative work on urban automation over 8 European cities over three years within Sheffield and with European partners (3 yrs from Sept 2016, ORA-ESRC funded).

Governance of Urban Sustainability Transitions (GUST): Advancing the role of the living lab (3 yrs from 2014, JPI Urban Europe).

Beyond Smart Cities: A Comparative Analysis of Experimentation in Urban Automation and Robotics China/UK: A 2 year Royal Society grant in collaboration with the School of Architecture at the Southeast University

 

Events

August 2, 2018 in Event, Urban Automation, Urban Automation Event

3 September 2018 – City Data Commons and Ethical Standards for Digital Transformation

Where: ICOSS conference room, 5:30 -7:00pm Speaker: Francesca Bria is the Digital Innovation Commissioner of Barcelona, Spain Barcelona City Council has created an Office for Technology and Digital Innovation that Bria leads, showing a firm belief in the importance of data…
Read More
July 14, 2017 in Urban Automation Event

4 September 2017 – Rise of the Automated City – Public Lecture

Date: Monday 4th September 2017 Time: 5:30pm – 7.00pm Venue: ICOSS Lecture Theatre (1st floor), Interdisciplinary Centre of Social Sciences (ICOSS), 219 Portobello, Sheffield, S1 4DP; followed by a reception in ICOSS foyer (opposite). From driverless cars, to delivery robots, digitised homes and networks of…
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Networks

International network of the German Academy of Spatial Research and Planning (ARL): 3 year working group (from 2016) on “Smart grids – Smart cities”.

Future Cities Catapult: Expert Advisory Group

ESRC international network (INCUT)final meeting on smart and sustainability (Sept 2016 in Sheffield)

‘Daily life, digital technologies and energy demand’ Early Career Researcher network – International 2-day workshop & webinar series led to a co-edited working paper collection, and panel session at the Beyond Balance Conference (London), as part of EPSRC network funding awarded by the Balance Network.

400

Estimated value in billions of global market for smart urban systems by 2020

50

Numbers of connected devices are forecast to grow globally from 10bn in 2014, to up to 50bn by 2020.

2.5

Number of people who voluntarily wear an electronic tracking device such as a smartphone

29

of admin/support services jobs and 72% of transport and storage roles at ‘high risk’ of automation.