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Gordon Leads Debate On Important Role Of The National Robotarium


Gordon Macdonald MSP for Edinburgh Pentlands led a members debate in Parliament this week (Wednesday 18 January 2023) highlighting the benefits of robotics, AI and autonomous systems and the important work being developed at the National Robotarium located at Heriot Watt University campus in partnership with the University of Edinburgh.


The motion for debate focused on the National Robotarium’s unrivalled technology and facilities which is central to the development and testing of robotics and AI solutions across the three distinct areas of robotics and autonomous systems, human and robot interaction, and high-precision manufacturing.


Mr Macdonald highlighted the National Robotarium’s role in growing Scotland as a world leading international hub which will require sufficient support to ensure a trained, qualified workforce and the development of a manufacturing base.


Commenting Mr Macdonald said, “I was delighted to have the opportunity to lead my members debate on the National Robotarium, the largest and most advanced applied research facility for robotics and artificial intelligence found anywhere in the UK and located here in the Edinburgh Pentlands constituency.


“On a recent visit to the centre I saw first-hand the incredible work they are doing in their state of the art facility and heard about the aspirations of the centre and indeed the opportunities for Scotland.


“Scotland, unlike many areas of the UK, still has a manufacturing base and the National Robotarium is in a position to move innovative products and services rapidly from laboratory to market, to develop new prototypes, and support early-stage product development within an incubator environment that drives productivity.


“The National Robotarium will be central in creating opportunities for companies to establish, develop and scale up, as well as meeting the future challenges of growth and manufacturing but it is imperative we have a trained workforce so planning for skills is crucial if we are to realise this industry’s potential.”


National Robotarium CEO Stewart Miller who will attend the debate commented, “I’m grateful to Mr Macdonald for raising this important debate in Parliament and highlighting the work we’re doing at the National Robotarium to build skills and increase the adoption of robotics and AI across all sectors. Many of the points raised during the debate clearly illustrate how the expansion of robotics capabilities can positively impact both the economy and society as a whole. The National Robotarium is an important milestone in this story, however, only with increased government support and investment can Scotland and the UK fully realise its potential to become a leading knowledge base and potential manufacturing hub for robotics.”


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