ROBOTS Season of Films, Events and Workshops

04 July 2017

A new season of Robots and Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) themed films, talks events and family friendly workshops take place in QUAD between July and September to tie in with our new exhibition.

The season explores themes relating to robots, artificial intelligence, online networks and synthetic biology and looking at the role and impact of robotics and Artificial Intelligence in our everyday lives.


Our Friends Electric, Adventures in Robotics, AI and Other Stories exhibition, in QUAD Gallery, brings together features video works; robotic sculptures and automata, as well as prints or drawings produced by robot ‘life-forms’.

Our Friends Electric highlights our hopes and fears for a present and future increasingly shaped by technological advance. The artists featured in the exhibition draw inspiration from scientific research, yet provide a creative and emotive understanding to the continuing moral and ethical questions that surround new and evolving technology. 

Machine Made: Art, Robots and A.I. exhibition in QUAD Extra Gallery Spaces presents the work by selected artists that utilise robotics or artificial intelligence and artworks that explore and question the ethics and issues surrounding our technological future relating to robots and A.I.  


A selection of digital workshops for young people will tie in with the ROBOTS season.

Manic Robots workshop with boredomresearch offers an opportunity for those aged 12 to 18 years to delve into the world of bio-inspired control systems. This will be the perfect workshop for anyone interested in games logic and creation. The workshop takes place on Saturday 8th July, from 10:30am to 4:00pm, it is suitable designed for beginners with no prior knowledge required. The cost is £30 per person booking is recommended and a packed lunch is advised. 

MinecraftLAB: Robot Land is suitable for 8 to 16 year olds to take part and collaborate in building a world designed for Robot inhabitants. It takes place on Tuesdays 8th 15th and 22nd August, there are two sessions per day at 10:30am to 12:30pm and 1:30pm to 3:30pm. The cost is £10 per person per session, booking is recommended and there is a chance to buy 3 sessions for the price of 2.

Princes Trust Get Started with Robotics is part of a programme aimed at young people who are 16 to 25 and not engaged in education, employment or training. Working with Robot Wars organisers Roaming Robots on building and battling in a robotic gladiator arena whilst helping you to improve your engineering and team work skills. Not only will it help you discover new talents and develop new skills, but you’ll also benefit from support from staff or one of the mentors from the Princes Trust to help you uncover your next steps. This workshop is free and takes place daily in QUAD from Monday 17th to Friday 21st July, running from 10:00am to 3:00pm, there is also a taster session on Thursday 13th July from 12 noon to 2:00pm


Get Real Philosophical Discussions: Artificial Intelligence takes place in QUAD on Wednesday 2nd August from 6:30pm to 8:30pm. The event is free but booking is essential. Noël West and Andrew Garford Moore will be looking at the philosophical and ethical issues raised by artificial intelligence. The discussion will be informal, will not assume any prior knowledge and is open to all. Audience participation is very much encouraged but not essential. This is a great opportunity to think and talk about some of the questions raised by this fascinating topic. 



In QUAD Cinema, the Robots film season includes six classic films for all ages that feature some of cinema’s greatest robots. 

Sleeper, from 1973, stars Woody Allen as the owner of a health food store cryogenically frozen  and defrosted 200 years later in an ineptly-led police state in an iconic slapstick comedy parodying notable works of science fiction. Sleeper (PG) screens in QUAD 12th and 13th July. 

In August a RoboCop Double Bill serves up a double dose of the ultimate in law enforcement. In RoboCop, cop Alex Murphy is rescued from death and reborn as the part man part machine all cop cyborg to battle the corporations and gangs of old Detroit. In RoboCop 2 he’s back again, this time to take on the latest drug craze sweeping the town, Nuke! RoboCop / RoboCop 2 (18) screens in QUAD on Friday 11th and Saturday 12th August, tickets are £12 or £11 concessions.

Long before he introduced us to a galaxy far far away, George Lucas was experimenting with the world of science-fiction with the dystopian thriller THX 1138. The film follows a man a and a woman who rebel against a rigidly controlled society enforced by police robots. Robert Duvall stars as THX alongside Donald Pleasence, Sid Haig and Maggie McOmie. THX 1138 (12A) screens in QUAD on Wednesday 16th and Thursday 17th August.

Star Trek: First Contact, from1996 and the archenemy of the crew of the Enterprise go back in time to assimilate the human race. It’s up to the crew to save them - and help with a pesky warp drive problem. Star Trek: First Contact (PG) screens in QUAD 1st and 2nd September.

The season also includes two ‘Cine Kids’ films for families. Return To Oz, from 1985, when a storm has propelled Dorothy back to Oz, but things aren’t as she left them. Dorothy and her new friends Jack Pumpkinhead, Gump and the clockwork robot TikTok set out to save the Emerald City from the fiendish Nome King. Return To Oz screens in QUAD 26th and 27th August.

The Black Hole, from 1979, is set deep in space, where a research craft encounters a spaceship, deserted apart from a long-lost scientist who has a desire to see what lies on the other side of the black hole – and will stop at nothing to achieve his goal. The Black Hole (PG) screens in QUAD on 9th and 10th September.


To complement the season of films, a Robots On Film will look at a hundred years of cinematic automatons, malign and benign, from cyborgs to Wall-E and ask if humans can hold them back. Robots have exuded a fascination for filmmakers since the silent era back in 1920, the machines have supposedly been taking over. Robots On Film course with tutor Alan Seaman takes place in QUAD on Saturday 9th September, from 10:00am to 4:00pm, course fees: £25 or £22 concessions.