In 2017 our Year of Robotics initiative reached more than 1,800 school children and 13,000 members of the public, in face to face sessions and demonstrations, in addition to 830 delegates and 150 industry partners through our lead role in the European Robotics Forum and Edinburgh Centre for Robotics (ECR).
Combined with a reach on media and social media of over 25 million, this earned the university two prestigious awards; the 2018 Herald Higher Education Award for ‘Campaign of the Year’ and in the 2018 Heist Awards, the gold award for ‘Best Marketing Initiative to Promote Research Excellence’.
Heriot-Watt University and the University of Edinburgh jointly run the ECR, a remarkable £100M investment supported by more than 40 industrial partners, with state-of-the-art facilities for global researchers. This is now set to become the UK’s NATIONAL ROBOTARIUM, as part of the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal cementing Edinburgh's reputation as a global centre of excellence for robotics.
Our internationally renowned experts are designing some of the world’s most advanced robots with outstanding capabilities in Robotics and Artificial Intelligence (RAI), Robotics and Autonomous Systems (RAS), and Human-Robot Interaction (HRI). This has led to major successes including our Interaction Lab team reaching the final three in the 2017 $2.5M Amazon Alexa Prize and being selected as one of only eight international universities in this year's $3.5M Prize.
£14.6M funding has been awarded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) for a £36M Offshore Robotics for Certification of Assets Hub or ‘ORCA Hub’. Heriot-Watt University is leading the consortium including the University of Edinburgh, Imperial College London, the University of Oxford and the University of Liverpool, together with 31 industry partners, to develop robotics technologies for use in extreme and hazardous environments.
Robotics has been identified by the Scottish and UK Governments as a key growth area and our significant robotics research concentration is already contributing towards the drive to revolutionise manufacturing, healthcare, offshore energy, construction, environmental monitoring and defence.
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Thanks to our Partners, Baker Hughes and Total for their sponsorship of the Year of Robotics 2017 and for the support from the Royal Scottish Society of the Arts, Technology and Science.