What is robotics made of? The interdisciplinary politics of robotics research.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
9 Downloads (Pure)
Original languageEnglish
Article number65
JournalHumanities Social Science Communications
Issue number1
Early online date8 Mar 2021
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The majority of the large consortium projects were funded by the European Commission or EPSRC, however, a few initiatives were industry-led R&D collaborations funded by Innovate UK or commercial firms. In terms of industry stakeholders, agronomics, automotive, defence and tech companies were the most prominent. In contrast, arts and voluntary sector organisations were the least common. These observations encourage reflections on the power relations present in the academic-industry collaborations and ethical concerns arising

Funding Information:
Second, the project was an exemplar of opportunistic, adaptable funding capabilities cultivated at BRL. The project was initially funded through a single seed-corn grant from the EPSRC. Further and more substantial funds were later secured from national funding agencies in the UK and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (Ieropoulos et al., 2013). In particular, the Gates Foundation funded research on “pee-powered toilets” aimed to tackle the issues of personal safety and access to electricity in the poorest regions of the Global South. Over the last few years, Ieropoulos’ team have further developed and trialled urine-powered lights, which have been fitted inside toilets in Uganda and Kenya (Robial, 2020).

Funding Information:
1 SAE International, (previously known as the Society of Automotive Engineers) is a U.S.-based, organisation developing standards and convening engineering professionals across various industries. 2 These projects are funded by the UK Research Councils, rather than the Government’s CCAV initiative. 3 As quoted from a presentation to the European Robotics Forum, Malaga, Spain, March 2020.

Funding Information:
The research project received ethical approval (no FET.18.11.023) for collecting data from workshop observations and participants’ reflections. The project was funded by UWE grant for building interdisciplinary collaborations. The research of one of the authors was funded through the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 788359 (“SCALINGS: Scaling up co-creation? Avenues and limits for including society in science and innovation”). Many thanks to BRL researchers for participating in interviews and workshops, as well as to Becky Upton for helpful comments on the manuscript.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s).

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