The School of Informatics at the University of Edinburgh, in partnership with Heriot- Watt University, has just won more than £6 million of UK Government funding to develop a joint robotics research centre in Edinburgh.
The Centre will explore the potential of robots and autonomous systems across a broad range of sectors including oil and gas, search and rescue, defence and manufacturing. The funding is part of a wider £85m investment in three technological areas, which include the creation of new materials for manufacturing and other industries and developing new ways of storing energy.
Professor Sethu Vijayakumar FRSE, Director of the Institute of Perception, Action and Behaviour at the School of Informatics, University of Edinburgh and the lead UoE PI spoke of the Centre:
The new centre will house state of the art humanoid robots, immersive and sensorised workspaces, co-worker robots and facilities for prosthetics research and testing. In close partnership with Heriot Watt university, the centre dubbed 'Robotarium' represents a unique suite of world class facilities covering underwater, on land and indoor robots capable of close and coordinated interaction with humans and the environment.
Prof. Dave Robertson, Head of the School of Informatics at the University of Edinburgh added:
This new centre builds upon Edinburgh's reputation as an international hub for robotics research and prepares us for new challenges where humans and robotic systems must work together.
Science Minister David Willetts said funding would be made available to more than 20 universities across the UK to support and strengthen existing research in these areas.
For Britain to get ahead in the global race we have to back emerging technologies and ensure our universities have the latest equipment. This capital investment will help scientists make new discoveries and take their research through to commercial success. It will drive growth and support the government's industrial strategy.
The research centre will draw on the expertise of more than 50 investigators working in 16 research groups and institutes in Edinburgh.