Robotics and Autonomous Systems Special Interest Group (2014), RAS 2020 Robotics and Autonomous Systems - A national strategy to capture value in a cross-sector UK RAS innovation pipeline through co-ordinated development of assets, challenges, clusters and skills
Robotics and Autonomous Systems (RAS) are one of the Eight Great Technologies identified by the UK Government as a key area with the potential to drive the industrial strategy for economic growth. Beyond automation and control, RAS are interconnected, interactive, cognitive and physical tools, able to variously perceive their environments, reason about events, make or revise plans and control their actions. They perform useful tasks for us in the real world, extending our capabilities, increasing our productivity and reducing our risks. In the future, we will increasingly use RAS to enhance almost e very aspect of our lives. They will be part of our response to national challenges: an ageing population, safer transport, efficient healthcare, productive manufacturing, and secure energy. RAS technologies will be truly transformational for the whole of society, part of the ‘Embodied Internet’ that will be at the heart of our future smart cities, smart homes and smart industries. Acting as the arms and legs of ‘Big Data’, connected in ‘The Internet of Things’, RAS is a ubiquitous and underpinning technology that can fuel the UK’s Industrial Strategy. There are clearly identifiable hot spots where RAS capability can impact on vertical sectors including aerospace, agriculture, automotive, energy, health, manufacturing, marine, nuclear and transport. These can be used to inform public and private investment decisions. Our vision is to reinforce a RAS ecosystem in the UK that will develop skills and allow ideas and innovation to be created and tested in the market place, ahead of international competitors. Techno logical innovations must be demonstrated in real world environments because RAS tools will be expected to work reliably and efficiently in these places. Addressing this will also involve shaping key regulatory and standards issues, so that success attracts private and inward investment at a tipping point when public investment is no longer needed.