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Heriot-Watt University’s Edinburgh Campus unveiled its ICT-Robotics for Independent Living Laboratory in 2017, an entire flat that mimics a real home environment, complete with a bedroom, kitchen, living room and bathroom. The lab combines a network of wireless sensors and other Internet-connected devices with state-of-the-art domestic robots. The lab is partially funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and is the latest addition to Edinburgh Centre for Robotics, led by Heriot-Watt and the University of Edinburgh, a multimillion-pound collaboration that brings together scientists and engineers with more than 40 industry partners.

The roboticists and computer scientists work alongside usability and health experts, psychologists, sociologists and people with assisted living needs, to find solutions with global applications. Together, they co-design and test innovative solutions for healthy ageing and independent living. Research is focusing on developing practical and user friendly solutions by harnessing the latest advancements in Robotics, Artificial Intelligence and connected data systems – ultimately bringing real value to help improve people’s lives.