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Children's Christmas Lecture is a sold out success – University of Reading

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Children's Christmas Lecture is a sold out success

Release Date 24 November 2005

planets of the solar systemThe University's much-loved Children's Christmas Lecture has proved as popular as ever this year with every single ticket being allocated in double-quick time. The lecture, 'To the planets and beyond: the robot's story' by Dr Gerard McKee will introduce hundreds of local children to the robots that are becoming our space explorers in the 21st century. "Our Christmas Lectures always strike a chord with the local community, and this year people have been falling over themselves to get tickets," said the University's Alison Fabian, who organised the Lecture. "More than 400 tickets were all snapped up less than a week after we made them available to the public." Every year, the lectures are laid on so children can learn, in a fun and entertaining way, about some of the groundbreaking work going on at the University. This year, Dr McKee, from the School of Systems Engineering, will talk about Sojourner, the little robotic rover of the NASA Pathfinder Mission to Mars, and how it served scientists in their quest to understand the world and look for evidence of life on Mars. As we send robots deeper into space alone we need to provide them with the ability to think and act on their own. After all, man will not be there to tell them what to do or to help them out if they get lost or into difficulty. What type of intelligence does a robot explorer of the planets require? How do we give it this intelligence? And can robots ever experience the same thrill of exploration that humans would experience? These questions and more will be answered at the Children's Christmas Lecture, which takes place at the Whiteknights campus on Wednesday 21 December. Although tickets have now been allocated for this year's lecture, members of the public are welcome to join the mailing list for next year's lecture. Please email End For media enquiries only, please contact Craig Hillsley, the University press officer Tel: 0118 378 7388 Email:

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