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A million-pound Xperience

Mark Steedman, Professor of Cognitive Science at the School of Informatics, has secured an EC award worth more than £1.6 million for a collaborative robotics project.

informatics forum

Involving six other European universities, the Xperience project applies a concept known as structural bootstrapping to robotic learning.

Robotic cognitive learning

Derived from language acquisition research, the concept refers to a learning process in which a child can attach the correct meaning to an unknown word based upon his or her knowledge of the grammar of their language.

Applied to cognitive learning this means that if the structure of a process is known, the role of any unknown elements within that process can be worked out from knowledge about their location and use within that process.

The Xperience project will implement a complete robot system designed to interpret and understand actions and dynamic situations, based on structural bootstrapping.

Other awards

This award was one of 23 granted to the College of Science & Engineering, during January, according to figures from ERI.

In the College of Humanities & Social Science, six-figure sums were given to the School of Divinity for research into peace building through media arts, and the School of Philosophy, Psychology & Language Sciences for a postdoctoral fellowship.

Grants were also awarded to existing medical research centres the Edinburgh Cancer Research UK Centre and the Tommy’s Centre for Maternal and Fetal Health.

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