Alan Winfield

Alan Winfield

University of Bristol, Bristol

United Kingdom

Research Areas

Computational and Artificial Intelligence, Computer Science, Machine Intelligence, Robot Programming, Robots

Interview Synopsis

In this interview, Winfield discusses his career and contributions in robotics, focusing on his work at UWE Bristol. Outlining his involvement in robotics projects, especially those concerning swarm and social robotics, he discusses the theory, challenges, and successes of his work. Commenting on the state of robotics in England, he provides advice to young people interested in the field.


Alan Winfield was born in Burton on Trent, England in 1956. He attended the University of Hull where he received a Bachelor’s degree in Electronic Engineering and a Ph.D. in Digital Communications. In 1984, he left academia to found MetaForth Computer Systems (later called APD Communications Ltd), which commercialized their patented high performance computer architecture. He left the company (remaining non-executive director) in 1992 to become Associate Dean (Research) and Hewlett-Packard Professor of Electronic Engineering at the University of West England, Bristol (UWE Bristol), positions he continues to hold to this day. He is also Director of the UWE Science Communication Unit, EPSRC Senior Media Fellow, and Honorary Visiting Professor of the Department of Electronics at the University of York. Co-founding the Intelligent Autonomous Systems Lab (now Bristol Robotics Laboratory) in 1993, Winfield was involved in several robotics projects, including development of the IAS lab Linuxbots. His research interests focus on robotics and robot ethics, artificial intelligence, swarm robotics and intelligence, and mobile robots.