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The UK government is advancing the development of a new facility intended to harness national initiatives around robotics.
Supported with a £21m funding package from the government, the National Robotarium will provide an environment where researchers, engineers, entrepreneurs and educators will collaborate to foster new smart robotics companies.
The facility will be co-located on the Heriot-Watt University campus, with access to the resources of both Heriot-Watt and the University of Edinburgh. The new initiative will build on the partnership with University of Edinburgh through the Edinburgh Centre for Robotics.
The National Robotarium is part of the £350m Data-Driven Innovation programme, which will see the creation of five innovation hubs across Edinburgh: the Bayes Centre, Easter Bush Campus, Edinburgh Futures Institute (EFI), the National Robotarium, and Usher Institute.
The five hubs will be supported by the creation of a World Class Data Infrastructure (WCDI) and analytical services.
According to Scotland minister Robin Walker, the National Robotarium is hoped to help develop the Scottish higher education and research sector and also bring new opportunities and boost economic growth across Edinburgh and South East Scotland.
“The UK has a proud record as a world leader in technology and investments such as this one with the UK, Scottish and local government working together with innovative universities,” Walker said.
“This can build on Scotland’s proud record of innovation to ensure that we lead the world in embracing the opportunities of robotics,” he added.
Read more about robotics
- The Ministry of Defence is working on a project that will see mini-drones and autonomous vehicles deployed to the battlefield.
- Local authorities in the UK are looking into innovations such as robotics and voice assistant technologies to support social care.
- Strong governance is vital for finding the right balance between use of robotics and patient care in the clinical setting.