Journalist, author, consultant – and robot hire for events
Chris Middleton is an acknowledged expert on robots, automation, AI, connected technologies, autonomous vehicles, drones, and the IoT.
He has written numerous articles and features for leading tech titles, appeared several times on TV and radio discussing the impact of these technologies, and hosted and spoken at major robotics, AI, and IoT conferences.
Chris also owns – and hires out – a number of real humanoid robots.
In 2019, Chris helped lead an Expert Mission on robotics and AI in extreme environments to the US, on behalf of Innovate UK and the Knowledge Transfer Network. Chris produced a detailed policy report for the government on the back of the Mission. (The link is to the public version of the documents, from which chapters containing policy advice have been redacted.)
Journalist and author
Chris’ expertise in robots embraces humanoid machines, AI, industrial robotics, automation, the Internet of Things, ethics, human rights, employment, and robots’ impact on industries such as manufacturing, agriculture, healthcare, space exploration, nuclear decommissioning, and engineering. He has written about these for Computing, Diginomica, Internet of Business, Citywire, Hack & Craft News, Transform Industry, and the Digital Marketing World Forum, among many others.
Along the way, Chris has interviewed some of the world’s leading robotics experts, including Prof. Hiroshi Ishiguro, and has appeared on radio and TV (see below), and in the press, such as in this article in the Evening Standard.
Radio, TV, public speaking, and consultancy
Chris has given speeches on AI and robotics at conferences, seminars, corporate events, exhibitions, and trade shows, and has helped several blue-chip companies to imagine the future and develop new business/tech strategies.
In 2017, he hosted the event ‘Rise of the Machines’ for The Crowd, in London, and gave speeches on the business impact of robotics and AI at the Sensors Show (NEC Birmingham) and the UK Industrial and Logistics Summit (London). In 2022, he was invited to give a presentation – with one of his robots – at a Retail Hive event in Windsor.
Chris has appeared as a robotics expert on BBC1 and ITN, discussing the societal impact of AI and automation, and has been interviewed several times on Talk Radio – including a 30-minute live conversation with Howard Hughes – and on Radio 2’s Drive Time show, on Radio 5Live, and on local BBC stations. In 2017, he was a panelist on a live podcast from the Brighton Digital Festival (link below).
• Talk Radio Howard Hughes 25 August 2019 (Chris appears in the section from 11pm onwards, from 13′ 50″ into that recording.)
• If you would like Chris to help you develop or present robotics/AI content for broadcast, please get in touch.
Chris has a collection of robots, including his famous NAO-25 humanoid, Stanley Qubit (pictured), a talking Albert Einstein android, a Chinese robot, and several machines designed by Japanese robotics legend Tomotaka Takahashi.
In February 2017, Stanley Qubit made history as the first real robot ever to appear in a dramatisation of Isaac Asimov’s ‘I, Robot’ stories, on BBC Radio 4. The drama won two awards at the New York Radio Festival.
In August 2015, Stanley Qubit co-hosted the BBC1 show Sunday Morning Live, with Sian Williams, and took part in a live debate on the future of intelligent machines, with musician/broadcaster Ana Matronic and playwright Bonnie Greer.
Chris’ robot hire business rents out robots to PR companies, event organisers, exhibitions, technology providers, broadcasters, and filmmakers, plus schools/colleges, though his focus is on the corporate market.