Robots acting independently of human control - which can learn, adapt and take decisions - will revolutionise our economy and society over the next 20 years.
Applications include: exploration and inspection, logistics, education, entertainment, surveillance and intervention. Beneficiaries include healthcare, manufacturing, transport, aerospace, defence, energy production, environmental monitoring, consumer services and agriculture.
The RAS field also calls on a wide variety of complimentary disciplines for key functionality: software engineering, algorithm design, human-machine interaction, modelling and simulation, efficient energy sources, power management, sensor technologies, vision systems and imaging, analogue and digital electronics, wireless communications, digital signal processing, microprocessors and mechanical design.
With the UK's world-class strengths in the underlying science and engineering at the heart of these systems, together with access to the markets taht could exploit them, the country is well placed to take a lead in developing and integrating these technologies.