Innovate UK and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) have opened a £5m funding call for innovative projects that stimulate new partnerships across robotics and autonomous systems (RAS).
With the aim of enabling UK companies to explore new opportunities for robotics and autonomous systems within their industries, this funding provides the ideal opportunity for contractors to explore and advance their robotics for construction.
Proposals need to show how they can speed up the development of RAS technologies towards demonstration and commercialisation. Projects may focus on technical feasibility, industrial research or experimental development.
The systems can be physical (for example, a next generation robot) or digital only (for example, an automated decision-making system).
Robots that are independent of human control can learn, adapt and take decisions. Many experts predict that such robots will revolutionise the construction industry over the next 20 years. There is already a move towards automation within the industry with a bricklaying machine called SAM now commercially available and groundworks being automated in Japan.
To be eligible for funding, projects must range in size from total costs of £50,000 to £500,000. They should last between six and 15 months and companies must complete the work and incur, pay and claim for all costs before the end of March 2018.
A business must lead the project and projects with costs of £100,000 or above must be collaborative.
The registration date for applications is Wednesday 19 October 2016 and the application deadline is 26 October.
For more information click here.