Construction begins on National Robotarium
01 April 2021
CONSTRUCTION HAS started on a world-leading research facility for robotics and artificial intelligence, the largest and most advanced of its type in the UK.
Based at Heriot-Watt University’s Edinburgh campus, the National Robotarium is supported by £21m from the UK Government, and £1.4m from the Scottish Government as part of the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal.
Expected to open in Spring 2022, it will create innovative solutions to global challenges using cutting-edge research, product design and industry collaboration. Bringing together academics and global companies, the facility will provide a catalyst for entrepreneurship and is expected to deliver sustainable economic benefit to Edinburgh, the UK and beyond. Key areas of research application will include hazardous environments, offshore energy, manufacturing, construction, healthcare, human-robot interaction, assisted living and agritech.
Professor Helen Hastie and Professor Yvan Petillot are joint academic leads of the National Robotarium.
Professor Hastie said: “As a world-leading facility that will promote entrepreneurship and drive forward early-stage product development, the National Robotarium will play a significant role in supporting the UK’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“By drawing upon the world-class talent of the staff at Heriot-Watt and our collaborative partner, the University of Edinburgh, alongside students at the Centre for Doctoral Training in Robotics and Autonomous Systems, the National Robotarium will form a centre of excellence for fundamental research and knowledge exchange to address real-world challenges and industry needs.”
Professor Petillot added: “The cutting-edge resources provided by the new facility combined with the expertise of our researchers will put us in a highly competitive position to elevate the UK onto the global stage in robotics and AI technologies."