Robotic and Autonomous Systems for Resilient Infrastructure

Robert Richardson, Raul Fuentes, Tim Chapman, Michael Cook, James Scanlan, Zhibin Li, David Flynn

Research output: Book/ReportOther report


Welcome to the UK-RAS White Paper Series on Robotics and Autonomous Systems (RAS). This is one of the core activities of UK-RAS Network, funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). By bringing together academic centres of excellence, industry, government, funding bodies and charities, the Network provides academic leadership, expands collaboration with industry while integrating and coordinating activities at EPSRC funded RAS capital facilities, Centres for Doctoral Training and partner universities.

The environment that infrastructure RAS is required to operate presents many challenges. For example, robots in cities must cope with the risks created from the complex interaction between large numbers of people and vehicles. Robots in tunnels or mines must cope with rough terrain, narrow passageways, and degraded perception. Offshore and subsea
infrastructure robots must withstand extreme cold and pressure operating at depth. Furthermore, robots undertaking nuclear decommissioning must withstand radiation and restricted access. In general, robots must be able to resist chemicals and materials used in the construction process as well as being resistant to dirt, dust and robust to large forces exerted. Common to all these environments, the robots need significant levels of autonomy with effective self-monitoring, self-reconfiguration and repair.

This whitepaper outlines the global trends in infrastructure robotics and presents our future vision towards ‘zero’ disruption to human activity and ‘zero’ environmental impact for infrastructure maintenance. It outlines the UK strategy and investment in this critical area and how to work together to boost our international competitiveness. The UK-RAS white papers are intended to serve as a basis for discussing the
future technological roadmaps, engaging the wider community and stakeholders, as well as policy makers in assessing the potential social, economic and ethical/legal impact of RAS. It is our plan to provide annual updates for these white papers so your feedback is essential - whether it be pointing out inadvertent omissions of specific areas of development that need to covered, or major future trends that deserve further debate and in-depth analysis.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherUK-RAS Network
Commissioning bodyUK Robotics and Autonomous Systems Network
Number of pages28
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2017

Publication series

NameUK-RAS White Papers
ISSN (Print)2398-4422


  • Robotics
  • Resilience
  • infrastructure
  • asset management


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