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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/Y030834/1
Title: UKRI AI Centre for Doctoral Training in Dependable and Deployable Artificial Intelligence for Robotics (CDT-D2AIR)
Principal Investigator: Petrick, Professor R
Other Investigators:
Tonneau, Dr S Stokes, Professor A Webb, Professor B
Auat Cheein, Dr F F Ramamoorthy, Professor S Komendantskaya, Professor E
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Advanced Manufacturing (Sheffield) Ltd Alana AI Ltd CENSIS
CereProc Ltd Chitendai Codeplay Software Ltd
CYBERDYNE Inc. D-RisQ Ltd Digital Health and Care Institute
dRISK Limited EDF Festo SE & Co.KG
Forum Energy Technologies (UK) Ltd Fourier Intelligence Fugro Ltd
GRi Simulations Inc. Historic Environment Scotland Honda
Huawei Group Imandra James Hutton Limited
Ocado Technology Opteran Technologies Ltd Optifarm Ltd
Pomo Robotics Ltd RightHand Robotics inc. Samsung AI Centre (SAIC)
Schlumberger Scotland 5G Centre Seebyte Ltd
SICSA SMC Corporation (UK) Limited Thales Ltd
The Data Lab The Shadow Robot Company UKAEA (RACE)
University of Bremen VAARST
Department: S of Mathematical and Computer Sciences
Organisation: Heriot-Watt University
Scheme: Centre for Doctoral Training
Starts: 01 July 2024 Ends: 31 December 2032 Value (£): 9,534,199
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Artificial Intelligence Human-Computer Interactions
Modelling & simul. of IT sys. Robotics & Autonomy
Software Engineering
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Aerospace, Defence and Marine Construction
Healthcare Energy
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
06 Sep 2023 UKRI CDTs in Artificial Intelligence 2023 expert panel Announced
20 Sep 2023 UKRI CDTs in Artificial Intelligence Interview Panel D Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
For robotics and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to make a difference in our homes and workplaces, we need to ensure these technologies are safe, dependable and trustworthy. While AI methods are finding increasing adoption within robotics, much of this technology was not originally designed with safety and other human-centred requirements in mind. Examples of potential use cases include AI assistants and robots in the home for healthy and independent living that can naturally converse and collaborate safely; and robots that can sense and interact in their environment for manufacturing and construction, and in challenging and extreme environments. Making AI suitable for such dependable and deployable products will require a new way of thinking.

We propose a CDT titled Dependable and Deployable Artificial Intelligence for Robotics (D2AIR - pronounced 'dare'). The primary priority area of the CDT-D2AIR is 'Responsible and Trustworthy AI', and our primary cross-cutting theme is 'AI for Increasing Business Productivity'. These form the two defining axes in CDT-D2AIR - "Dependability" and "Deployability". Through CDT-D2AIR, a talent pipeline will be built of graduates, who can think in new ways around researching, designing, building and deploying dependable and safe robotics and AI solutions. This pipeline will increase productivity, catapulting the UK as a world-leader in trustworthy robotics and AI technologies, factoring in key issues around responsible research and innovation, inclusivity and sustainability.

CDT-D2AIR will reside at the Edinburgh Centre for Robotics (ECR), which is formed of Heriot-Watt University (HWU) within the departments of Computer Science, Engineering and Psychology and the University of Edinburgh (UoE), within the schools of Engineering and Informatics. CDT-D2AIR encompasses the full spectrum of connected and overlapping robotics and AI disciplines, applied to a diverse range of sectors, including health and wellbeing, assisted living, agriculture, manufacturing and energy. ECR is home to world-leading research with over £100m in current research funding, sourced by its 70+ academic staff, including EPSRC projects ORCA Hub (£19m), and two UKRI TAS Nodes on Governance and Regulation and Trust (£6m).

CDT-D2AIR builds on two EPSRC CDTs at ECR in Robotics and Autonomous Systems (CDT-RAS). CDT-RAS has delivered high quality research and impact, with students publishing over 200 conference and journal papers, in influential venues such NeurIPS, ICRA, CHI and HRI. CDT-RAS graduates have secured posts at top universities, companies, and founded start-ups. Indicative of the success of ECR CDTs is that each year, ECR receives on average 160 applications worldwide. CDT-D2AIR will leverage the successes and best practices of CDT-RAS, which won an award for EDI, but will be novel in that it will move robots closer to safe deployment.

Key to success for CDT-D2AIR will be its close links to industry, for which we have 38 project partners and over £7m in financial support, including pledged cash funding for 17 studentships, and in-kind funding for software and hardware, as well as bespoke training and consulting. The National Robotarium and the Bayes Centre form the translational arm of ECR and house state-of-the art testing and development facilities for robotics and AI research, including £20m+ of robotics equipment. The students will work with impact engineers, business executives, and project managers. Industry project partners will be embedded within this ecosystem and will define real-world problems for our students to address. Solutions to these problems will be developed and tested in realistic conditions, working towards the goal of full deployment.
Key Findings
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Project URL:  
Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.hw.ac.uk