According to press reports, the total investment will be £8m and invested over three years - £5m from Dyson with £3m of matched funding from other sources, set to pay for 15 scientists to investigate the potential of robotics for industrial usage, including some of Dyson’s own engineers.
Professor Andrew Davison, an expert in SLAM (Simultaneous Localisation and Mapping) systems that use a single camera - from the college’s Department of Computing, is the Director of the new robotics centre.
“My generation believed that the world would be overrun by robots by the year 2014. We have the mechanical and software capabilities, but we still lack understanding – machines that see and think in the way that we do,” said Dyson founder, Sir James Dyson.
“Mastering this will make our lives easier and lead to previously unthinkable technologies,” he added.
The research will focus on vision systems that help robots understand and adapt to the world around them, with the new partners saying they will explore domestic robots and robotic vacuum cleaners.
Imperial’s Davison believes the world could be moving towards a new era where robots for businesses and the home could be used to make our lives easier, more efficient and more cost effective.
“However, in order to get there we need to develop technologies that free up robots from the factory floor so that they can be used more effectively in our homes,” he claimed.