Access to Expertise

The National Robotarium

Established jointly by Heriot-Watt University and the University of Edinburgh, the National Robotarium is a world-leading centre for Robotics and Artificial Intelligence, creating innovative solutions to global challenges.



Advancing Research

The goal of the National Robotarium is to advance research on a global stage. They foster a vibrant ecosystem of national and international robotics and AI research across three distinct areas, Robotics & Autonomous Systems (RAS), Human & Robotics Interaction (HRI) and High Precision Manufacturing.


Working with industry

Informed by sectoral needs, the National Robotarium works collaboratively with industry partners around the globe and acts as a gateway to the UK Robotics sector and Government support. They aim to have a positive impact on the UK economy by aiding the rapid transition of solutions from laboratory to market, supporting start-ups and SMEs from Heriot-Watt University, the University of Edinburgh and across the UK.

World-class specialist facilities

Based on Heriot-Watt University’s Riccarton campus in Edinburgh, in close partnership with the University of Edinburgh, the National Robotarium boasts world-class specialist facilities for the advancement and testing of applied and industrial research, including dedicated laser labs, an autonomous systems laboratory, and a living lab for trialling technology in a realistic home setting.

The building itself has been designed with sustainability and energy efficiency at its heart, with an intelligent façade that will provide solar heat and recycle warm air, and includes an ecological zone to integrate sustainable urban drainage systems.


Funding information

The National Robotarium is part of the Data-Driven Innovation initiative supported by £21 million from the UK Government and £1.4 million from the Scottish Government through the £1.3 billion Edinburgh and South-East Scotland City Region Deal, a 15-year investment programme jointly funded by both governments and regional partners.

The DDI conglomerate consists of six hubs based at the University of Edinburgh (Bayes Centre, Usher Institute, the Edinburgh International Data Facility, Edinburgh Futures Institute and Easter Bush) and Heriot-Watt University (the National Robotarium) whose collective innovation and strategic developments are primed to make Edinburgh the Data Capital of Europe.

The opening

The National Robotarium, the UK’s centre for Robotics and Artificial Intelligence, officially opened on 28 September 2022.

The National Robotarium


Located on Heriot-Watt University's Edinburgh campus, in partnership with the University of Edinburgh, it will be the largest and most advanced applied research facility for robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) in the UK, creating an innovation hub for the practical application of robotics and autonomous systems.

The special opening event gathered leading figures from the National Robotarium team, university partners, government, industry, research and the robotics community for robot demonstrations, talks and a tour of the multimillion-pound, purpose-built facilities, central to the development and testing of robotics and AI solutions across three distinct areas; Robotics and Autonomous Systems (RAS), Human and Robot Interaction (HRI) and High-Precision Manufacturing.

The centre was officially opened by Sir John McCanny CBE, Regius Professor Emeritus of Electronics and Computer Engineering, Queen’s University Belfast, and Chair of the National Robotarium Independent Advisory Board.


Find out more about the National Robotarium