The robot ‘rush’is on the rise and the UK is trying to explore this field more readily. Soon, to test their ability to work independently, the UK will release robots over decommissioned nuclear sites as well as long abandoned coal mines. The hope is to further robot research in the UK and test sites are just the beginning.
The goal of the Technology Strategy Board is to allow researchers to compete to create robots that complete tasks. It is hoped that one day, the UK could take the lead in robotics.
Science Minister David Willetts has recently released the plans to spend £400m in funds by the Technology Strategy Board over the next year. There is some money designated for research in robotics thus the proposal to send out robots in test fields.
Willetts states, ”Robots have often been positioned as a thing of the future, but today’s strategy-launch emphasises the fact that they are very much of the here and now.”
The idea is for money to be issued towards cities like Bristol and Edinburgh, who already have a finger in the ‘robotic’pie. The Technology Strategy Board wants to implement robotic recommendations on testing sites to further this development. “We need to act quickly if we don’t want to be left behind. With the right course of action, we believe the UK could achieve 10% of the global market share by 2025,”says David Lane, professor at Heriot-Watt University.
David Lane also said, “We need to provide a business environment in the UK that is geared towards helping robotic and autonomous technologies out of the lab and into the marketplace.” Lane ran the Robotics and Autonomous Systems Special Interest Group at the Technology Strategy Board.
“Driverless cars, rail systems that can monitor and repair track by themselves, technologies that assist elderly people, and nuclear plant safety monitors were all examples of leading British robot technology. The UK has an exceptional heritage in many of the industries where robotics can be most useful,” Lane continued
“The UK is the lowest user of industrial robotics in the technically developed nations of Europe – well behind Spain and Italy,” says robotics expert, Professor Noel Sharkey from the University of Sheffield. “We have a lot of robotics talent in our universities with enormous potential to bring the UK to hi-tech glory.
It is hoped that this move will push the UK forward in the Robotic race for autonomous robots.
[Image via extremetech]