Welcome to the UK Robotics Week 2017
Following the highly successful UK Robotics Week in 2016 this annual event continues to grow. This is a reflection of the undoubtedly significant impact Robotics and Autonomous Systems (RAS) are having and will continue to have in many aspects of our lives. The point where science fiction is coming closer to science fact is nearing with each passing year.
We are increasingly looking towards machines to address the laborious, repetitive or dangerous tasks as well as developing abilities for co-operation between them and us, an ability to learn, make decisions and provide innovative solutions to the many challenges we face.
The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) funds the research and training that will bring the necessary skills and innovation together to ensure the UK is at the forefront of RAS developments. We are working with partners such as Innovate UK and other research councils to speed the impacts of research for application in society and the economy.
In 2015 EPSRC announced the formation of the UK RAS Network. The Network provides leadership, a coordinating function for academic activities in the UK, and seeks to expand collaboration with the RAS dediated facilities and Centres for Doctoral Training across the country.
The Network has successfully developed the concept of UK Robotics Week and launched the first one in 2016. The event seeks to inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers to push the boundaries further. I hope everyone involved, from children to industry, academia and government, will enjoy participating and see the value of the activities planned.
Prof Philip Nelson
CEO, Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
Acting autonomously or in close collaboration with humans, Robotics and Autonomous Systems (RAS) have a broad range of new and established applications. As the underlying technologies are further developed and translated from laboratory settings to real-world applications, RAS is playing an increasingly important role in the UK's economy and it's future growth.
The UK-RAS Network was established with the mission to provide academic leadership, expand collaboration with industry and integrate and coordinate activities at the EPSRC funded RAS capital facilities, Centres for Doctoral Training (CDTs) and partner universities across the UK.
We are delighted with last year's inaugural UK Robotics Week and proud to build on its success with this year's event. The UK Robotics Week provides a spotlight on the UK's technology leadership in RAS, and engages the nation's schools, colleges and universities in developing the digital skills needed to drive the UK's future economy.
The UK Robotics Week also acts as a forum for discussion of technological, commercial, legal, ethical and social aspects of robotics. The wide range of events covered, from symposia, workshops, conferences, festivals, competitions and hackathons, contribute to a thriving programme across the country. We endeavour to provide promotion to other robotics related events in the calendar and aim to ensure robotics remains high on the government's agenda as one of the transformative technologies of the present and future.
I would like to thank all those who have contributed an incredible amount of effort in making the UK Robotics Week a success and we look forward to meeting you all during the events.
Prof Guang-Zhong Yang
Chairman, EPSRC UK Robotics and Autonomous Systems Network