The Italian Ambassador to the UK, Raffaele Trombetta, visited the University on 21 February to meet with Principal and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Richard A. Williams, before taking a tour of the robotics research labs.
In addition to speaking with Professor Williams about the experiences of Italian students and staff within the Heriot-Watt University community, the Ambassador and his delegation, including Consul General, Fabio Monaco, Scientific Attaché, Professor Roberto Buizza, and Director of the Institute of Culture, Chiara Avanzato, were interested in learning more about how the National Robotarium, one of the University’s Global Research Institutes, is using robotics and AI to advance research and develop the use of autonomous systems and support within health, social care and other sectors.
Postgraduate students and researchers from the Edinburgh Centre for Robotics were on hand to provide robotics demonstrations in the Human-Robot Interaction Lab, Field Robotics Lab, Ocean System Lab and the Robotic Assisted Living Testbed (RALT), which is led by Dr Mauro Dragone and aims to revolutionise the way assisted living care is delivered in the community.
Dr Dragone said: “The researchers and students were pleased to have the opportunity to show the Italian Ambassador and his delegation the diverse range of robotics and AI research being undertaken at the University.
“The solutions being formed in our labs, all of which will be embedded within the National Robotarium when the building opens later this year, have the potential to transform the way we live, work and care for others. It’s great to be able to demonstrate to international representatives how our research can improve lives across the global community.”
The Principal said: “It was a pleasure to meet Ambassador Trombetta and his colleagues and share with them some of the globally important research and industry collaboration that’s going on within the National Robotarium.
“Heriot-Watt University is an integrated global university with strong links across Europe and the rest of the world. Visits such as these are a wonderful opportunity to demonstrate our commitment to expanding and sharing our learning across international boundaries and exploring ways that we can work together to deliver substantial benefits for society.”