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Major funding boost for robotics and autonomous tech at WMG

The development of robotics and autonomous technology at WMG has received part of a £6.5 million boost from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

The grant, of which over £620,000 goes to WMG, will help to advance work on the world’s most adaptable 3xD simulator for autonomous vehicles.

WMG's 3xD simulator recreates the world for an intelligent vehicle, replicating complex driving scenarios, communications interference or unexpected events, all in a safe and repeatable environment.

It is the only simulator of its kind designed specifically to test real-world robustness and usability of smart, connected and autonomous vehicle technology.

EPSRC’s overall £6.5m capital investment will strengthen and consolidate its existing investments to enhance capabilities and enable collaboration across a common platform within the UK Robotics and Autonomous Systems Network (UK-RAS Network).

This distributed network of capital equipment will enable the UK’s robotics and artificial intelligence researchers – of which WMG is a vital part - to accelerate the translation of fundamental research into cross-sector, enabling technologies and promote cross-sector growth.

Professor of Cyber Systems Engineering at WMG, Carsten Maple, comments:

"This EPSRC grant will enhance our already world-leading 3xD Vehicle Simulator. It will allow the emulation of both radar signals and Fifth Generation communications allowing us to create modern and future environments.

“In addition the versatility of the simulator will be extended and the so-called cyber-physical capability enhanced through a system that will model human and machine behaviours at large scale.

“We were pleased to be a part of a large capital grant that will ensure that the UK stays at the forefront of research in Robotics and Autonomous Systems, underpinned by world-leading facilities. Partners have drawn upon existing excellence in the field, such as aerospace and field robotics, and our part of the award will give us unparalleled facilities in Cyber Physical Systems.”

The 3xD simulator will be the centre piece of the Virtual Reality Centre in the National Automotive Innovation Centre (NAIC) – a long term commitment between Jaguar Land Rover, WMG and Tata Motors European Technical Centre.