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Robotics and Autonomous Systems

In any likely future, robots and autonomous systems will play a key role. The UK’s industrial strategy recognises this and UCL will be at the forefront of innovation in this area.

At UCL East, we will create a new world-leading research centre in autonomous robotics - robots that are capable of making decisions for themselves and then acting on those decisions. This will complement the already outstanding research being done in tele-operation at Here East.

These two activities will work together under the umbrella of UCL Robotics, to turn UCL and the local area into the leading international centre of expertise, innovation and enterprise. 

Since UCL East is on the border of Tech City, there is a natural synergy between academic activities in robotics – both research-led and ideas from taught students – and a local environment that encourages the development of such ideas into deliverable products.

Key information

UCL faculty: Engineering Sciences
Academic lead: Professor Steve Hailes
Buildings: Both Pool Street West and Marshgate
Focus areas: Robotics; Artificial Intelligence (AI); autonomous systems

Given the profound effect that robotics is likely to have on all aspects of our lives, we will actively seek to develop further collaborations with those present on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, and others. Colocation with a critical mass of relevant companies and the consequent accessibility of capital and business support are key enablers in this process. 

Across Pool Street West and Marshgate, we will host an undergraduate course in robotics and AI, as well as two Master's courses: the first in sensor systems, the second also in robotics and AI.

These courses will be experimental in nature – they will involve both the learning of academic principles and the development of practical skills in making, underpinned by a robust education in experimental design and system engineering.

These will complement our existing Master's course in Robotics and Computation, run largely on the Bloomsbury Campus, and a number of courses run jointly between the faculties of Engineering and The Bartlett at Here East.

They will also have synergies with other courses being developed for UCL East, in areas from nature smart cities to manufacturing. 

We will develop both an apprenticeship offering and an Engineering foundation course. This will mix engineering and educational elements to support individuals, particularly from the local community, who are aiming at a technical career or who wish to compete for entry into the country’s leading universities.

To do this most effectively, we will seek to partner with existing educational providers in the local area.