UK robotics industry gets £16million boost
The EPSRC has today announced grants for 22 university based robotics research projects.
Up to £16million is being made available for research into underwater robotic vehicles, 'nursebots' that assist patients in hospitals and next generation aerial vehicles that can monitor national borders or detect pollution.
The funding round is being led by the EPSRC and a number of leading British companies, including BAE Systems, Network Rail and the UK Space Agency.
Speaking today at the official opening of the Bristol Robotics Laboratory, the UK's largest robot lab, Minister for Universities and Science, David Willetts said: "Robotics and autonomous intelligent systems are areas of science in which the UK has world class expertise, but to reap the full benefits for the economy and society we need to get better at applying the technology to industry.
"This £16million investment will bring together leaders from the research base and business to develop systems for a range of important sectors, from transport to aerospace. In addition, I have asked the EPSRC, the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Technology Strategy Board to organise a roundtable to discuss the future of UK research in this area."
Commenting on behalf of the industry partners, James Baker, managing director of BAE Systems' Advanced Technology Centre, added: "It is vital for the universities to work with industry to drive these technologies forward as autonomous and intelligent systems are going to be an integral part of our infrastructure and society in the near future.
"As partners we hold a shared goal to improve the generic technology in the field so that it can transfer and benefit many industries and sectors."
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