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4/8/2017

Proposal for Robotics R&D Hub accepted through to second round

Proposal for Robotics R&D Hub accepted through to second round

A consortium including Blue Abyss, Imperial College London, Oxford University, UCL and University of Surrey has been successful in reaching the second round of a bid for a share of a £40 million robotics R&D grant.

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) invited bids for a share of a £40 million grant to be allocated to four UK-based hubs focused on Robotics and Artificial Intelligence (RAI) systems for Extreme and Challenging (Hazardous) Environments.

EPSRC, Innovate UK and the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) are working to deliver an integrated programme investigating the development and deployment of RAI systems in extreme environments as part of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF).

The ambition of the programme is to develop robotic solutions to make a safer working environment in industries such as offshore energy, nuclear energy, space and deep mining, which will increase productivity and open up new cross-disciplinary opportunities currently not available.

A consortium of universities leading in the field of robotics plus Blue Abyss and other industrial partners proposed the establishment of the Hazardous Environment Robotics (HERO) R&D Hub. Blue Abyss will provide test and evaluation facilities for the R&D programmes that will be undertaken by the hub partners.

Blue Abyss Space Operations Director and Managing Director of affiliate SeaSpace Research, Professor Simon Evetts says,

Imperial has been pursuing groundbreaking robotics research for some years and is the ideal lead to bring together an impressive consortium to establish the robotics hub. We are delighted to offer unique capabilities to allow such pioneering research to be evaluated.”

The HERO consortium has been invited to submit a full proposal for review by EPSRC. We will compete with eight consortia for four grants, each worth around £10 million. Funding decisions are due in late September.

Click here for more information on the grant.

Image: The Imperial Aerial Robotics Laboratory

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Posted in News | R&D

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