Artist's impression courtesy of the National Robotarium
17 Mar 2022

Sections in the frame at UK robotics centre

Construction is continuing on a world-leading research facility for robotics and artificial intelligence, using structural sections supplied by British Steel.

Based at Heriot-Watt University’s Edinburgh campus, the National Robotarium is supported by £21 million from the UK Government, and £1.4 million from the Scottish Government as part of the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal.

The facility is expected to open in autumn 2022 and will create innovative solutions to global challenges using cutting-edge research, product design and industry collaboration.

National Robotarium
The National Robotarium pictured mid-construction by BHC Limited

Bringing together academics and global companies, the Robotarium is expected to provide a catalyst for entrepreneurship and deliver sustainable economic benefit to Edinburgh, the UK and beyond.

Key areas of research application will include hazardous environments, offshore energy, manufacturing, construction, healthcare, human-robot interaction, assisted living and agritech. 

Its innovative design means the cutting-edge resources will be matched by the building itself, with a focus on sustainability and energy efficiency. In the winter months, the intelligent façade will provide solar heat and recycle warm air. An ecological zone will integrate sustainable urban drainage systems, while a solar PV array is to be installed on the roof. EV charging spaces will also be available.

The National Robotarium is part of the City Deal’s Data Driven Innovation (DDI) theme, which aims to establish the region as the data capital of Europe.

British Steel has manufactured and supplied 350 tonnes of structural steel to fabricator, BHC Limited for the research facility, which will be the largest and most advanced of its type in the UK.

Key facts

  • Construction start date: March 2021
  • Construction end date: Autumn 2022
  • Location: Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, EH14 4AL
  • Product: 350 tonnes of British Steel sections