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Thursday, May 10, 2012

$25M for UK robotics

UK Minister for Universities and Science, David Willetts, annonced at the official opening of the Bristol Robotics Laboratory at the University of the West of England, the funding for 22 exciting university-based research projects.
The BRL is home to a community of 70 academics and businesses who are leading current thinking in nouvelle and service robotics, intelligent autonomous systems and bio-engineering. Over £1.65 million has been spent on the new facilities. The total area of the BRL is circa 2,400 sqm, with over 300 metres of specialised laboratory space and two Flying Arenas.
Thanks to a major partnership between the government and industry UK robotics research will receive £16million ($25M) to develop smart machines that think for themselves. This research includes safe ways of monitoring in dangerous environments such as deep sea installations and nuclear power plants, 'nursebots' that assist patients in hospitals, and aerial vehicles that can monitor national borders or detect pollution.
Led by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and an eight-strong group of partners, the investment has over £4M in support from industry. This will include access to specialist laboratories, equipment, expertise and advice on commercialisation and industrialisation. The partners are BAE Systems, Schlumberger, National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL), Sellafield Ltd, Network Rail, SCISYS, DSTL and the UK Space Agency.

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