Centre Overview

| Research Areas | Our Impact | Media and Public Engagement | Networks, Project & People | Our Partners |

CAIR is the first research centre of its kind in Scotland, jointly led by its founding co-Directors: Professor Amir Hussain and Professor Emma Hart. It brings together our ground-breaking foundational work in developing new methods in AI and Robotics and our pioneering research into trustworthy and ethical systems to deliver cutting-edge applications in a range of high-impact societal areas.

CAIR provides a single home for data-driven AI and robotics research, facilitating inter-disciplinary collaborations that address problem-driven and theoretically-underpinned research across a range of real-world applications.

CAIR members also work at a strategic level with European and international research programmes, as well as national and local research organisations and governments around the world (see example Projects below).

Research Areas

CAIR builds on the complementary world-leading strengths of following research groups:

The external funding landscape is ripe with opportunities for AI related funding, with EPSRC listing AI & Robotics as one of four thematic areas that will shape future research; other opportunities also exist within UKRI in terms of working in conjunction with industry and with Scottish funding sources such as The Datalab. A recent report showed that 44% of companies worldwide have already or are about to deploy AI demonstrating the potential for creating new strategic partnerships with companies/industry.

Revolutionising the Customer Service Experience through AI

Our Impact

CAIR is focused on both foundational and applied research, increasingly with industry partnerships, realising impactful real-world applications of our work.

The combination of accumulating expertise and world-class innovative research has enabled CAIR to provide research based, rigorous and reliable AI, Data Science and Robotics solutions and consultancy to a range of stakeholders.

For example, in the domain of healthcare technology, we are currently leading a strategic EPSRC Programme Grant: COG-MHEAR (funded as part of the UKRI Transformative Healthcare Technologies 2050 Call) to develop truly personalised multimodal hearing assistive technologies that can autonomously adapt to their surroundings, while other work focuses on medical diagnostics and long-term assisted care for the elderly. Our work in robotics focuses on the automated design of robots to operate in unknown environments (such as nuclear reactor decommissioning or space exploration) and more natural multimodal human-robot interaction, including in collaboration with the National Robotarium and partners at NASA JPL. Our researchers also work closely with the Alan Turing Institute including participating in Challenges e.g. for prediction of annoyance ratings of urban soundscapes (organised by UCL). We are working in the domain of natural-language generation to create computational agents capable of interacting in real-world environments using natural language that, for instance can act as companions to improve the mental health of young and ageing population, provide skills training or even assistance in public spaces. Work with companies such as Trivago is focussed on improving natural language generation in low-resource domains.

Our UKRI funded work with the aquaculture industry has led to commercialisation of ground-breaking AI-powered fish biomass measuring technology, providing faster data to farmers in Scotland and globally, with fewer systems required on site, significantly saving both time and cost. Other UKRI funded work has used AI to improve customer-response times in call-centres and a new platform to support machine-learning approaches for use in clinical environments for medical diagnostics for skin conditions.

CAIR members are continuing to shape the global research landscape and enhance interdisciplinary Impact and visibility by serving as invited Chief Editors and Editorial Board members of reputable journals, such as MIT Press’s Evolutionary Computation, Springer Nature’s Cognitive Computation, various IEEE Transactions (e.g. the IEEE Transactions on AI, IEEE Transactions on Systems Man and Cybernetics: Systems) and (Elsevier’s) Information Fusion.  We also regularly organise flagship events such as conferences and themed workshops to disseminate world-class research– examples include PPSN 2018, IEEE WCCI 2020, IEEE SWC 2023, and annual conferences including BICS and IEEE CICARE (organised as part of IEEE SSCI).

CAIR facilities include an open 5G-IoT Testbed, Digital Twin, Wireless Sensing and Robotics Labs equipped with a range of robots with diverse capabilities and facilities to 3d-print robot designs created via AI – these provide interdisciplinary platforms for significant research bids by CAIR in collaboration with SCEBE, other Schools at Edinburgh Napier and external partners.

CAIR is open to collaboration for AI, Data Science and Robotics consultancy, research, and for obtaining research funding. We are also keen to grow our ongoing innovation work with external partners to commercialise the results of cutting-edge research by e.g. founding spinout companies as well as commercialising business ideas and proprietary technologies through our institutional Research & Innovation Office. If you want to stay up-to-date with CAIR, please click this link to see the official blog page.

Media and Public Engagement

Our work has attracted significant media attention, for example:

Networks, Project & People

Our members

Learn more about the members of Centre for Artificial Intelligence & Robotics (CAIR)

A flavour of the breadth of our research can be seen from the range of funded projects and programme grants:



Royal Society of Edinburgh

Royal Academy of Engineering

Royal Society

  • Towards multilingual audio-visual speech enhancement in real noisy environments (Kia Dashtipour)

UKRI: Innovate UK / Knowledge Transfer Projects (KTP)

International (British Council)

COST Action:

Some of CAIR Partners/Sponsors

EPSRC logoCOG-MHEARIAS logoSonova logoAlpha data logoNokia Bell Labs logoTrivago logoNHS lothian logoDeaf Scotland logoCodeplay logoRoyal Academy of Engineering logo