Magee robotics research shares in grant windfall

A Derry based research project into the use of robotics in healthcare is one of a number of academic initiatives at the University of Ulster to have benefited from almost £14million of grants.

The robotics project led by Professor Martin McGinnity, Director of the Intelligent Systems Research Centre at the Magee campus secured £384,860. RUBICON (Robotic UBIquitous COgnitive Network) aims to create a self-learning robotic ecology, consisting of a network of sensors, effectors and mobile robot devices that will have a variety of applications in the healthcare, service and entertainment sectors.

The £14million secured for research is £2million more than the previous year. Just over one third of all research funding came from the EU and, in particular, the Framework 7 programme.

Professor Hugh McKenna, Ulster’s Pro Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation said “researchers at the University of Ulster have shown that they can secure substantial research funds from prestigious national and international sources.

“The projects should have the desired impact on healthcare, society and the economy. The £2 million increase over last year’s total is particularly laudable considering the negative effect the recession is having on the resources of funding bodies.”

Other University projects to have secured grants include research into supernatural personal accounts at sea and in coastal settings collected between 1850-2000 and the ‘Safety of Medication use in pregnancy in relation to risk of congenital malformations’ project.