ROBOTS will be walking our streets within 10 years, according to Oxford University researchers.

And Oxford professor Ian Brown is trying to find ways of stopping them from revealing private information which they come across.

At a London lecture on Tuesday, March 18 he will explain his work to embed privacy settings in the design of robots.

Dr Brown, associate director of Oxford University’s Cyber Security Centre and senior research fellow at the Oxford Internet Institute, and Oxford colleague Dr Joss Wright, are part of a UK team on a £2m three-year project to examine the implications of robots in public spaces.

They say robots will soon help people in their daily lives — for example, becoming companions for older people in their homes.

Dr Brown said: “New questions arise about how much we trust these devices.

“Some people might develop an emotional attachment to them, particularly in situations where robots play the role of companions.

“It is important, therefore, that we design robots that have privacy embedded into their design.

“Otherwise, these robot ‘friends’ could betray the trust of the people they come into contact with, passing on information to third parties.”

His talk is at this year’s annual Oxford London Lecture at The Assembly Hall, Westminster at 6.45pm.