Major boost to UK robotics capability
Published:  15 July, 2015

The UK’s ability to develop and exploit the vast potential of Robotics and Autonomous Systems was given a major boost with the formal launch of The EPSRC UK Robotics and Autonomous Systems Network (UK-RAS Network).



The Network will bring together the UK’s core academic capabilities in robotics innovation under national coordination for the first time and encourage academic and industry collaborations that will accelerate the development and adoption of robotics and autonomous systems.
The Network was unveiled at the Science Museum in London following a public lecture on Robot Ethics, organised by IET Robotics and Mechatronics Network in association with the Science Museum Lates and supported by the EPSRC UK-RAS Network.

The new network has already received strong support by major industrial partners, the Science Museum and the UK’s major professional engineering bodies including Royal Academy of Engineering, IET, and The Institution of Mechanical Engineers.

The Network will expand to include broader stakeholders including key national laboratories in the UK and leading international collaborators in both academia and industry. The global market for service and industrial robots is estimated to reach $59.5 billion by 2020.
Commenting on the launch, the UK government’s Minister of State for Universities and Science, Jo Johnson said: “Robotics and autonomous systems have huge growth potential for the UK as one of our Eight Great Technologies. To get it right we need to draw on the expertise of the UK’s research base and the ambition of industry. By working collaboratively, this network will only help to accelerate growth of a high-tech sector and pave the way for new high-value, skilled jobs – a win, win scenario for the UK.”



The EPSRC UK-RAS Network is funded by The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) – the UK's main agency for funding research in engineering and the physical sciences. The Network’s mission is to provide academic leadership in Robotics and Autonomous Systems, expand collaboration with industry and integrate and coordinate activities at eight EPSRC-funded RAS dedicated facilities and Centres for Doctoral Training (CDTs) across the UK.

The founding network members are Imperial College London, Bristol Robotics Lab, University of Edinburgh, Heriot-Watt University, University of Leeds, University of Liverpool, Loughborough University, University of Oxford, University of Sheffield, University of Southampton, University College London, and University of Warwick.




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