The EPSRC UK Robotics and Autonomous Systems (RAS) Network today hosted the International Robotics Showcase 2019 in London, highlighting cutting-edge UK developments in robotics.
There was a range of presentations, demonstrations and competitions by industry and academic figures, from the work of PipeBots at Sheffield University and space technology by Surrey University to Nasa projects at the Johnson Space Center and the ethics of robotic and autonomous systems.
At a time when the advance of robotics is usually presented in terms of job-losses or dystopian threats, the event presented a more positive and promising view of autonomous systems. For example, taking the human out of hazardous environments such as nuclear accident recovery, tackling dangerous situations such as bomb disposal, aiding public infrastructure by automating the monitoring of water and sewage pipes and supporting new technological developments in the most hostile situations of all, at the bottom of the oceans or out in space…
We will cover individual items in more detail in the coming days and weeks.
The event was hosted at the Royal Geographic Society in London by the UK-RAS Network, as the highlight of the UK Robotics week.
UK Hubs to the fore included: the Future AI and Robotics for Space (FAIR-SPACE) Hub, the Robotics and AI for Nuclear Hub (RAIN), the Offshore Robotics for Certification of Assets Hub (ORCA) and the National Centre for Nuclear Robotics.
“We are thrilled to be hosting the International Robotics Showcase in London at the Royal Geographical Society this year,” said Professor Guang-Zhong Yang, Chairman of the UK-RAS Network.
“Now in its fourth year, the highlight event of our annual UK Robotics Week features an array of the latest robotic technologies, demos and the winner’s of this year’s Surgical and manufacturing Robotics Challenges, plus a keynote talk titled ‘The Deepest Dive’ from Anthony Geffen, one of the world’s leading documentary film makers and a pioneer in multi-platform storytelling on how robotics have assisted humans to reach to the deepest place in the ocean – the Mariana Trench in the Pacific.”
Other elements of the week have included this year’s school robot coding competition, the 2019 Manufacturing Challenge at the AMRC in Sheffield and the Surgical Robot Challenge 2019.