Engineers at the UK’s Robotics Research Institute (RRI) have received a £60 million grant to develop intelligent robots that could dramatically reduce the operating costs of local authorities and even central government.
Part of the larger European-funded RoBureauCrat initiative, the aim of the group’s DeMocRAcy (Decision making robotic agents) project is to investigate the development of systems that could bring the benefits of automation to the public sector.
Itheka claimed that if successful the project could make a major contribution to the government’s efforts to cut the deficit. ‘History is littered with examples of austerity providing a spur for innovation, and this project is perhaps the ultimate example of this,’ he said. ‘Putting aside the development and maintenance costs robots can effectively work for free, 24 hours a day seven days a week and could slash billions from government’s operating costs.’