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Major funding boost for robotics and autonomous tech at WMG

The development of robotics and autonomous technology at WMG, University of Warwick 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.

3d sim

WMG's 3xD simulator recreates the world for an intelligent vehicle within the 3xD simulator, 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 Carsten Maple, Professor of Cyber Systems Engineering at WMG, comments:

"This EPSRC grant will enhance our already world-leading 3xD Vehicle Simulator. It will allow the emulation of both radar signals and 5th 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 – a long term commitment between Jaguar Land Rover, WMG and Tata Motors European Technical Centre.

Notes to editors:

National Automotive Innovation Centre

Being built on the University of Warwick campus, the National Automotive Innovation Centre, is the largest centre of its kind in Europe and is a £150million long-term commitment between Jaguar Land Rover, Tata Motors European Technical Centre, WMG and the University of Warwick, along with an expanding network of supplier companies. The government (Higher Education Funding Council England) has also provided £15million of funding to support the capital project.

The National Automotive Innovation Centre (NAIC) will develop breakthrough designs, technologies and processes. NAIC will address the shortage of skilled R&D staff across the automotive supply chain, developing the talent required for the demands of emerging technologies and engaging future generations of engineers.

The Centre will provide a critical mass of research capability combining automotive expertise nationally and internationally, as well as an environment to foster collaboration, cohesion and cross-fertilisation of knowledge. Academic and industrial R&D teams will work together using state-of-the-art equipment and facilities.

WMG, University of Warwick

WMG was established by Professor Lord Kumar Bhattacharyya in 1980 in order to reinvigorate UK manufacturing through the application of cutting edge research and effective knowledge transfer. WMG is a world leading research and education group and an academic department of the University of Warwick.

WMG has pioneered an international model for working with industry, commerce and public sectors and holds a unique position between academia and industry. The Group’s strength is to provide companies with the opportunity to gain a competitive edge by understanding a company’s strategy and working in partnership with them to create, through multidisciplinary research, ground-breaking products, processes and services.

Every year WMG provides education training to over 1,500 postgraduates, in the UK and through centres in China, India, Thailand, South Africa and Malaysia. Students benefit from its first hand understanding of the issues facing modern industry. All tutors are highly qualified with a background in business or industry.

The EPSRC UK-RAS Network

The EPSRC UK Robotics and Autonomous Systems Network (UK-RAS Network) is dedicated to robotics innovation across the UK, with a mission to provide academic leadership in Robotics and Autonomous Systems (RAS), expand collaboration with industry, and integrate and coordinate activities at EPSRC-funded RAS capital facilities and Centres for Doctoral Training (CDTs) across the country.

27 Feb 2017

Further information:

Luke Walton, International Press Officer

+44 (0) 7824 540 863

+44 (0) 2476 150 868

L dot Walton dot 1 at warwick dot ac dot uk