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Professor Robert Richardson elected Chair of ESPRC UK-Robotics & Autonomous Systems Network

Professor Robert Richardson

Professor Robert Richardson of University of Leeds has been elected as the next Executive Committee Chair of the EPSRC UK-Robotics & Autonomous Systems (UK-RAS) Network.

Outgoing Chair Professor Guang-Zhong Yang will continue in an advisory role as the Chair of the UK-RAS Network Strategic Advisory Board, providing strategic guidance and direction across translational, industrial and government policy.

Commenting on his election Professor Richardson said: “This is an incredibly exciting time to be leading the EPSRC UK-RAS Network, which has made exceptional progress as a champion and organising voice for UK robotics innovation since the Network’s launch just four years ago.

"My focus will be firmly on supporting, stimulating, growing and promoting RAS research excellence in the UK – working in synergy with committees and large projects to form a powerful UK research and innovation strategy.” He added: “One of my priority actions will be to lead the establishment of new RAS topic themes aimed at enhancing fundamental robotics research within the UK and, more broadly, to deliver a harmonised RAS academic research vision to policy makers, industry and the public to ensure that the UK’s world-class fundamental and applied robotics research continues to flourish.”

Professor Richardson leads the ‘Real Robotics’ lab at the School of Mechanical Engineering. He is the Director of the Institute of Design, Robotics and Optimisation at the University of Leeds and Director of the Leeds EPSRC National Facility for Innovative Robotic Systems – a facility for designing and creating robotic systems. He leads co-directs a major UK-funded project ‘Self-Repairing Cities’, with the vision of robots to automatically repair and maintain city infrastructure such as streets, roads and bridges.

He also leads robotics in ‘Pipebots’, a large research project with the vision of swarms of small one-centimetre robots to automatically inspect the condition inside underground pipes in cities.

He is a founder and Chief Innovation officer for Acuity Robotics Ltd, a new start-up company from the University of Leeds focusing on robotic inspection technologies and a Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineering. His current research interests include exploration robotics for infrastructure inspection, safety and security, and exoskeletons for industrial and medical applications.

Neil Tyler

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