Lloyd’s Register Foundation and the University of York announced that they are set to lead a £12m program regarding the safety of robotics and autonomous systems (RAS), as using RAS will bring benefits, but it is not without risks.
A 2016 report from the International Federation of Robotics revealed that the number of industrial robots that will be used worldwide will increase to around 2.6 million units by 2019, one million more than in the record-breaking year of 2015.
“There is an urgent need to work with industry, regulators and research teams around the world to address key challenges in assuring safety and compliance with standards and regulations,” Lloyd’s Register said.
As Lloyd’s Register mentions it is very crucial to understand this new technology and develop the appropriate regulatory framework. This will give the possibility to the industry to solve any problem that might occur, as well as enable the public to have full confidence in the systems.
In 2016, a Lloyd’s Register Foundation Foresight review of robotics and autonomous systems identified that one of the biggest obstacles to gaining the benefits of RAS was that of assuring and regulating RAS, in particular safety, Lloyd’s Register announced.
The announced investment will be used to fund the Assuring Autonomy International Programme (AAIP) based at the University of York., which will be led by Professor John McDermid.
“They are also [the robotics] essential in making the widespread global uptake of autonomous ships a reality. Equally important is the continued development of robust regulatory frameworks to ensure the highest standards of marine safety and performance alongside public trust of emerging technologies.
To launch the program, £10m will be paid by Lloyd’s Register Foundation together with £2m from the University.
The programme is expected to be launched in January 2018, and is funded for an initial five years.
The funding announcement has been welcomed by Rolls-Royce, Lloyd’s Register announced.