National Robotarium appoints first CEO

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The National Robotarium, hosted at Edinburgh’s Heriot-Watt University, has announced that former Innovate UK chief technical office Stewart Miller will become the first ever chief executive officer of the robotics and AI research facility. 

According to the National Robotarium, Miller is well suited to lead this initiative as he is a distinguished business leader with a wealth of experience in technology development in the aerospace sector.

As CEO he will build the National Robotarium into a globally recognised centre of excellence for AI and robotics, working directly with business to accelerate innovation and drive value from world class research. Miller aims to create talent of the future through a flexible skills programme and support entrepreneurs capable of developing new businesses to fuel the economy.

He takes up his position having been CTO of the UK government’s innovation agency, Innovate UK. Originally from Glasgow, but now living in East Lothian, he previously worked in senior roles at major firms including Leonardo and BAE Systems.

His appointment comes as the UK government’s Innovation Strategy identifies robotics and AI as two critical ‘technologies of the future’ which will help to transform society and fuel economic growth over the next decade.

Stewart Miller, CEO of the National Robotarium, with the facility’s humanoid robots from Barcelona-based PAL Robotics

Stewart Miller, CEO of the National Robotarium, said: “It’s a huge honour to take up this role, helping set the direction of the National Robotarium which has enormous potential to transform lives. The opportunity is to bring together the needs of businesses and society and the emerging technology solutions from research at the UKs leading universities.

“As someone who has been working in technology for 40 years, leading a facility that is tackling some of the world’s biggest challenges using Robotics and AI is incredibly exciting. It is clear to me that this role presents an extraordinary opportunity to build productive global partnerships, creating economic, environmental and societal benefits. I look forward to working with research teams, students, and partners across industries and governments as we grow the National Robotarium’s influence and impact.”

Construction of the research facility, which is designed to be one of the largest and most advanced of its type in the UK, is underway and is set to open in the Scottish capital in spring 2022.

National Robotarium’s research projects kicked off last year with scientists launching the world’s first remote access assisted living lab.

Work in hazardous environments research is also gathering pace with projects ranging from self-building robotic scaffolding to aid nuclear decommissioning and disaster recovery with the use of Scotland’s first Spot robots.

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