New Trustworthy Autonomous Systems projects launched

Robotics For Medical Technology Solution

Six new research projects have been launched to tackle challenges to the development of autonomous systems.

The projects, called nodes, are part of the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Trustworthy Autonomous Systems (TAS) programme, and will undertake fundamental, creative and multidisciplinary research in various areas key to ensure autonomous systems can be built in a way society can trust and use.

Independent decisions

Autonomous systems are technologies, ranging from software algorithms to robots, which can make independent decisions with varying levels of human control and learn and change their behaviour.

These systems are already starting to be deployed and have huge potential to be transformative across both society and industrial sectors from health to transport, and from communications to manufacturing.

In order for society to use and benefit from autonomous systems people need to trust them. This means that the autonomous systems need to function as expected for their purpose, and they need to be designed and tested to ensure that their functioning is reliable, and appropriate within a legal, ethical, and social context.

Addressing challenges

To address these challenges UKRI is investing £33 million in the Trustworthy Autonomous Systems (TAS) programme. The programme is funded through the Strategic Priorities Fund and delivered by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

The TAS programme aims to establish a UK focal point for active engagement with the autonomous systems agenda, facilitating conversations across academia, government, regulators, businesses and the public.

The programme will build a coordinated multidisciplinary UK research and innovation community around the theme of trustworthy autonomous systems and will undertake world-leading fundamental research into the technical, social and ethical challenges that surround trustworthy autonomous systems.

Big Ideas initiative

The TAS programme originated through the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council’s (EPSRC) Big Ideas initiative.

The nodes will work closely with the Trustworthy Autonomous Systems Hub announced earlier this year.

The following nodes have been funded:

This is the website for UKRI: our seven research councils, Research England and Innovate UK. Let us know if you have feedback or would like to help improve our online products and services.