In-depth reports and recommendations on key robotics sectors released as part of UK Robotics Week (21st – 29th June 2018)
On the 20th July the Urban Institute’s White Paper on ‘Urban Robotics and Automation‘ was formally launched as a key event in the International Robotics Showcase at the Liverpool Exhibition Centre. The White Paper was commissioned by the EPSRC RAS Network as part of a series of papers that scope the state and future research priorities in robotics and automated systems. Our White Paper is the first to identify a distinctive urban agenda, highlighting the urban issues that robotics and automation can address. Emphasis is placed on a whole city approach and the need for supportive governance and regulation for meaningful spaces of urban experimentation. Examples from the USA, Africa, Japan and Dubai demonstrate the potential scale and scope of urban robotic applications.
The “Urban Robotics and Automation: Critical Challenges, International Experiments and Transferable Lessons for the UK” whitepaper offers a detailed analysis of the application of robotics and autonomous systems technology in supporting urban growth in the UK. The report discusses urban potential in various aspects of urban life, such as health care, construction and maintenance, as well exploring the transport and socio-economic impacts. The paper also points to the distinctive ‘urban’ dimensions of RAS innovation – from laboratory to real -world applications – and looks at how current and future challenges can be addressed. The paper concludes with key recommendations for addressing some of the acknowledged challenges, and provides a clear basis for shaping discussion of the future technological roadmaps, engaging the wider community, stakeholders and policy makers, and for assessing the wider implications of RAS in Urban Automation and Transport.
Commenting on the launch, report author Professor Simon Marvin of University of Sheffield said:
“Cities are being automated at a steady pace and advances in urban automation and transport are continuously shaping our urban life and environment, so this whitepaper comes at a very interesting and key time in the technology progression. Good city governance and resource utilisation enables smooth flow of services, data, and people, and many cities are now becoming test beds – for both national and local governments – to experiment with robots in social spaces, and to explore their role in facilitating everyday life and good city governance. With connected and autonomous vehicles set to take another leap forward in the UK thanks to a series of recent government funding announcements, we will continue to see major industry shift towards automation, connectivity, shared mobility and the electrification of vehicles. This market disruption is changing the way the urban environment is organised, and in this paper we take a comprehensive look at the transformative effect this will have on the way people travel, especially in cities.”