Robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) are rapidly advancing technologies that have transformative potential across various sectors. To harness the full potential of these technologies, experts at Heriot-Watt University and the University of Edinburgh are launching a groundbreaking training centre. The UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Centre for Doctoral Training in Dependable and Deployable Artificial Intelligence for Robotics, abbreviated as CDT-D 2 AIR, aims to train new PhD students in verification and certification systems for robotics and AI.
The primary objective of CDT-D 2 AIR is to ensure the safety and reliability of robotics applications in both domestic and industrial settings. By enabling robotics to interact safely with environments and users, the centre aims to enhance the use of AI assistants for independent living and robotic machinery in manufacturing and construction. This initiative is part of the UK’s efforts to advance AI safety and promote responsible adoption of these technologies.
Funded with a share of £117m by UKRI, CDT-D 2 AIR is one of 12 new Centres for Doctoral Training being established in the context of the AI Safety Summit 2023. It will be situated at the Edinburgh Centre for Robotics (ECR), which houses the National Robotarium and the Bayes Centre. The ECR is a collaboration between Heriot-Watt University and the University of Edinburgh, and it serves as a hub for robotics, AI, and data science.
Students enrolled in the D 2 AIR Centre for Doctoral Training will have access to state-of-the-art equipment at the ECR, enabling them to simulate and test their solutions. They will receive comprehensive training in AI, verification, design, and robotics, equipping them with the necessary skills to develop dependable and safe robotic solutions.
The director of the new centre, Professor Ron Petrick from Heriot-Watt University, emphasizes the need for certifiable and reliable robotic systems that prioritize safety and human-centered requirements. Petrick believes that by nurturing a new talent pipeline with advanced skills and an innovative mindset, the UK can position itself as a global leader in trustworthy robotics and AI technologies.
The launch of the CDT-D 2 AIR brings the UK one step closer to realizing the remarkable potential of AI in improving people’s quality of life and enhancing productivity. As UK Secretary of State for Science, Innovation, and Technology, Michelle Donelan explains, these plans will future-proof the nation’s skills base and ensure responsible and trustworthy adoption of AI. With the support of organizations like UKRI, the UK is well-positioned to drive the responsible and beneficial application of AI in various domains.
What is the purpose of the UKRI Centre for Doctoral Training in Dependable and Deployable Artificial Intelligence for Robotics?
The centre aims to train new PhD students in verification and certification systems for robotics and AI, with an emphasis on safety and reliability.
What industries will benefit from the centre?
The centre’s training programs focus on enhancing the safety and reliability of robotics applications in both domestic and industrial sectors. Key areas of impact include independent living and manufacturing/construction.
Where will the training centre be based?
The training centre will be located at the Edinburgh Centre for Robotics (ECR), a collaborative initiative between Heriot-Watt University and the University of Edinburgh. The ECR includes the National Robotarium and the Bayes Centre.
What resources will be available to students?
Students at the training centre will have access to cutting-edge equipment and facilities at the ECR for simulating, testing, and developing their solutions. They will also receive comprehensive training in AI, verification, design, and robotics.