01 January 2013
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Funding competition provides boost for UK robotics systems

A £1 million funding competition that will help develop robotics and autonomous systems (RAS) technology in the UK has been launched by Universities and Science Minister David Willetts.

In RAS, service robots work alongside people but act autonomously or semi-autonomously of their control in a number of complex, dynamic environments, some of which are hazardous to humans.

The industry offers the opportunity for companies to develop and integrate a range of technologies – for example software engineering, human-machine interaction, modelling and simulation, wireless communications and microprocessors – so that autonomous service robotics can work truly effectively.

The programme will run from 2014 to 2020 with a budget of 80 billion Euros.

The Technology Strategy Board funding is for projects that develop early-stage and novel concepts to address identifiable challenges and mitigate risks. Technical feasibility studies are initial studies undertaken prior to embarking on a subsequent and larger R & D project.

All projects must be collaborative and led by an SME. They will last up to 12 months and each grant is envisaged to be up to £133K, although projects outside this range will be considered. The competition opens on 4 February 2013. Interested parties should visit www.innovateuk.org where details will be posted shortly.

Paul Gay


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