The University of York’s Institute for Safe Autonomy is set to install, inspect and maintain a solar installation entirely using robots.
It will form part of a new project, which will turn the centre into a living lab that can explore different ways to develop and deploy robotic and autonomous systems that can manage different configurations of solar PV cells. The installation will also provide all of the Institute’s power.
It is one of nine projects to receive funding jointly from Research England – part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) – and the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales and Scottish Funding Council.
In total, £18.9 million is being provided to these projects, which are all designed to help reduce emissions from buildings. The University of York’s project has received £1,520,000 in funding.
Other projects include a semi-conductor innovation project at Swansea University, an energy efficiency with DC microgrid technologies project at the University of Nottingham and a local energy grid project at the University of Bristol, amongst others.
“This funding will help these leading national centres and facilities develop innovative solutions to reducing energy demand and increasing the use of renewable power in some unique research environments,” said professor Duncan Wingham, executive chair of Natural Environment Research Council and sponsor for environmental sustainability and net zero in UKRI.
“UKRI is proud of its role in helping reduce carbon emissions from delivering cutting-edge research outputs in support of institutional and national net zero targets.”
Projects started in April 2022, and are set to run until March 2023.