The Edinburgh Centre for Robotics has received new funding for a training centre to make robotics safer and more trustworthy.
Named the UKRI Centre for Doctoral Training in Dependable and Deployable Artificial Intelligence for Robotics (CDT-D2AIR), the new centre will train PhD students in verification and certification systems for robotics and artificial intelligence (AI).
Experts from Heriot-Watt University and The University of Edinburgh will support the training to help ensure new robotics and AI systems can interact safely with their environments and users.
High-spec lab space, robotics equipment and expertise at the National Robotarium will be provided as part of their studentship.
The centre has also been awarded a share of £117m by UKRI to support research projects into AI across the UK.
Professor Ron Petrick, a professor of computer science at Heriot-Watt University and a world-leading researcher in automated planning and robotics and director of the new D2AIR Centre for Doctoral Training, said: “There is a clear need for robotics and AI systems be certifiable, reliable and capable of interacting safely with people and the environment.
“While AI methods are being increasingly used in robotics, much of this technology was not originally designed with safety and other important human-centred requirements in mind. Making AI truly applicable to, and deployable in, robotic solutions will require advanced sets of skills and a new way of thinking.”
He added that technologies deployed in the home needed to be developed safely and collaboratively, as well as those used for manufacturing and construction that work in challenging and extreme environments.
The organisations hope to produce a pipeline of graduates who can think in new ways around researching, designing, building and deploying dependable and safe robotics solutions.
The National Robotarium was a finalist at the first-ever Robotics & Automation Awards in the R&D Innovation category. Read the full list of winners for the inaugural Robotics & Automation Awards – the most exciting new event for those working in the robotics and automation sectors! Check out exclusive coverage of the night in the November 2023 issue of Robotics & Automation, which also features original content on the developments of AI for use throughout the supply chain.