UK robotics push launches first remote search-and-rescue unit

The UK government is backing what it calls the world’s first remotely operated offshore search-and-rescue operation as part of a wider $10 million funding project to boost robotic and automation development.

Automated drones at heart of UK tech funding

The new offshore rescue program will be primarily positioned to assist workers on offshore energy platforms who fall victim to high winds or heavy waves far from landfall. Development of the system is being led by Edinburgh-based Offshore Survival Systems. Central to the search and rescue scheme will be a network of semi-autonomous unmanned rescue vessels ready for deployment at the first word of trouble at sea.

Another beneficiary of the UK’s development push is Digital & Future Technologies, which describes itself as “a bespoke electronics development house… [helping] our end customers to implement and bring new technologies into their marketplaces.” Under the UK government-funded project, the company will…