UK research partnership advances robotics in offshore renewables

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The use of robotics in offshore renewables will be the focus of a new partnership between two leading UK research organisations.

The collaboration between the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult and the Offshore Robotics for Certification of Assets (ORCA) Hub will combine applied academic robotic research into industry products and services for offshore renewables.

The hub, led by the Edinburgh Centre for Robotics, Heriot-Watt University and the University of Edinburgh, with Imperial College London and the Universities of Oxford and Liverpool, said it aims to create a national robotics roadmap that transforms technology innovations and research into commercialisation.

Both organisations will undertake joint research programmes and projects, as well as developing future skills by supporting MSc and PhD projects.

Professor David Lane, ORCA Hub director, said: “This collaboration with the ORE Catapult builds on our on-going work within the renewables sector. The ORCA Hub, part of the National Robotarium, is developing use-inspired robotics and AI technology from the science base, driven by industry challenges.

“There is enormous scope for the application of robotics solutions within the energy sector to reduce cost and risk, increase productivity and contribute towards net zero energy transition. We look forward to strengthening our relationship with the ORE to really drill drown on use cases, industry partnerships and our culture of development by demonstration.”

The collaboration follows a successful robotics demonstration day by the two organisations in 2019, which showcased how the technology could be used in the real world at ORE Catapult’s National Renewable Energy Centre in Blyth, Northumberland.

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