UPDATED: 'Walkies' for University of Buckingham's new robot dog

Spot the dog is just one of a number of robots acquired by the university, thanks to £1.6m grant

Monday, 21st June 2021, 3:59 pm

The University of Buckingham s computing department took its latest 'pet' for a walk last week.

Spot, the robotic dog, made by Boston Dynamics, is one of the most advanced autonomous robots in the world.

It is one of a number of robots the School of Computing has acquired, after securing a £1.6 million Local Growth Fund grant from the Buckinghamshire Local Enterprise Partnership to establish an Innovation and Incubation Hub focusing on AI, robotics and immersive technologies.

Spot, the robotic dog being filmed by BBC South News
Spot, the robotic dog being filmed by BBC South News

The university is match funding the grant, bringing the total investment in computing to £3.2 million.

As well as Spot playing a central role in teaching and research in robotics and AI, the department will collaborate with external organisations to develop new uses for Spot

Within the Innovation and Incubation Hub, the plan is to train a generation of specialists and doctoral students in artificial intelligence, robotics, augmented/virtual reality, computer vision, data science, internet of things, machine learning and cybersecurity, and nurture the next generation of spin-off companies

Vice-chancellor James Tooley said: "We are pioneers at the University of Buckingham.

Spot and friends

"Our students are pushing the boundaries and looking for new ways to develop robotics as part of the wider developments in AI in this region, Buckinghamshire, which is leading the way in robotics."

CEO of the Buckinghamshire Local Enterprise Partnership, Richard Harrington, said: “Buckinghamshire Local Enterprise Partnership are investing £750,000 of Local Growth Funds into the University of Buckingham’s new Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Innovation.

"This investment will help to address the gap in the academic application and ethical research into the use AI.

"The opportunities provided by the application of AI is of growing importance growth to Buckinghamshire businesses and we are looking forward to supporting the university in helping work collaboratively in this field with entrepreneurial businesses and particularly with those located at our rapidly growing Enterprise Zone sites at Silverstone and Wescott.”