Robotics to withstand extreme conditions: apply for funding

19 Feb 2019 01:27 PM

Up to £2 million is available for UK businesses to develop electronics, sensors and photonics for robotics and AI systems in extreme environments.

Environments like nuclear, offshore, space and deep mining can be challenging for people to work in, with potentially extreme temperatures, pressure and high levels of radiation.

Up to £2 million is available to fund feasibility studies and collaborative R&D projects that develop electronics, sensors and photonics that can cope with these conditions.

Robots for a safer world

This competition is part of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund to develop safer and more productive technologies for working in extreme environments. Funding is provided by UK Research and Innovation and delivered by Innovate UK.

Through the robots for a safer world challenge, government is investing £93 million in advanced robotics that remove people from potentially harmful operations, improve productivity, and open up new, cross-disciplinary opportunities.

Find out more about the robots for a safer world challenge.

As well as this competition, the programme is funding robotics research hubs and innovation projects that will support improved delivery of public services.

One funded project is using robots to fix underground pipes and reduce roadworks.

More robust systems for robotics

The aim of this competition is to improve how robots operate in extreme environments by developing robust devices and components, including:

Competition themes

The competition is for feasibility studies and collaborative research and development.

Projects could look at the following.

Optics and photonics-based sensing

This includes the use of light detection and ranging technologies for high-resolution 3D mapping of terrain in areas like space to help with navigation and awareness.

Compound semiconductor-based electronics

This includes design and development of components and integrated circuits that support robotics and AI systems, such as advanced sensing, communication or actuation. Reducing the size and weight of power-supplies also falls under this theme.


This includes the design of electronics, photonics and sensors components, circuits and devices to make them more resilient.

Modelling and simulation

This could include projects that investigate electromagnetic effects or modelling radiation shielding for use on robotics and AI systems.

Competition information

Find out more about this competition and apply.