Message from the Chairman

Message from the Chairman

Message from the Chairman

The EPSRC UK Robotics and Autonomous Systems (RAS) Network was established in March 2015 with the aim of bringing together academic centres of excellence, industry, government funding bodies and charities to strategically grow the UK-RAS research base, acting as a portal to interface with industry and deliver technological advances for translational impact.


The Network has established strategic leadership and cohesion on public engagement and outreach programmes for RAS, by providing high-impact engagement opportunities and maximising the visibility of RAS across the UK.

The UK Robotics Week is now the leading national event in RAS and the 2018 programme grew to include over 165 events (including 54 core events organised by the Network) across the country. Other activities include our highly successful annual RAS challenges in surgery, extreme environments, social, autonomous driving, field robotics, resilient infrastructure and healthcare.

The challenges have grown year-on-year and attracted both national and international involvement, from both academia and industry sectors. Our annual School Robot competition has attracted participation from over 200 schools, resulting in over 1,000 students taking part. Creating a culture of enterprise is critical to growing the burgeoning RAS sector, something we seek to cultivate through the various challenges, hackathons, collaborations and missions.

Creating a culture of enterprise is critical to growing the burgeoning RAS sector, something the Network seeks to cultivate through the various challenges, hackathons, collaborations and missions, and equally it is an area the UK’s Centres for Doctoral Training (CDTs), are playing a vital role in equipping students from the outset of their training. We actively promote the coordination of the Robotics and AI doctoral student community and encourage collaboration.

National coordination has transformed the overall RAS landscape in recent years, stimulating increasing collaboration and innovation, leading to increased productivity and growth. We have also received strong support by major industrial partners, and other organisations such as the Science Museum, the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Institution of Engineering and Technology, and the Institute of Mechanical Engineers.

The Network aims to continue stimulating collaboration and innovation, we look forward to working with you by leveraging the existing investment and international centres of excellence to accelerate the future development of RAS.

Prof Guang-Zhong Yang, CBE, FREng
Chair, UK-RAS Network