College of Science & Engineering

UK boost for robotics and AI

Professor Sethu Vijayakumar has been awarded a £428,959 share of £6.5M capital funding from EPSRC.

Prime Minister, Theresa May, speaking to Professor Sethu Vijayakumar at the India-UK Tech summit in New Delhi, November 2016

The money will be distributed across 15 universities to perform cutting edge research in robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) in high impact domains spanning healthcare and extreme and/or challenging environments.

Professor Vijayakumar, who is Director of the Edinburgh Centre for Robotics, says:

“In the Autumn Statement, the Chancellor announced an increased R&D spend, to the tune of up to £2bn per year with specific emphasis on robotics and artificial intelligence technologies. 1,2,

“Edinburgh Centre for Robotics, a partnership between the University of Edinburgh and Heriot-Watt University, is well placed to deliver in this field. We will use the money to enhance our capabilities to address asset inspection and navigation in extreme, inhospitable and inaccessible environs - with a view to addressing challenges in mining, nuclear, the oil and gas industry and construction businesses.

“The funding will also enable the creation of living labs in the University of Edinburgh’s new Bayes' centre with mock-ups for hospital and collaborative manufacturing automation. New robotic platforms such as the ANYmal quadruped inspection robot are set to join the hardware platform line-up at Edinburgh that already includes the NASA Valkyrie humanoid robot.”

Useful links

Edinburgh Centre for Robotics

India-UK Tech summit

 

References

Point 16 https://www.gov.uk/government/news/autumn-statement-2016-some-of-the-things-weve-announced

Section 4.10 https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/autumn-statement-2016-documents/autumn-statement-2016