The use of robotics for space, environment, maritime and deep-sea exploration, continues to grow. In homeland security, law enforcement and defence, improved functionality and sophistication of search and rescue features by unmanned systems, augmented by intelligent surveillance and chemical / biological / radioactive / nuclear / explosive threat countermeasures, have led to a rapid uptake of RAS. Unmanned systems in the UK, include unmanned aircraft systems, ground vehicles, and maritime systems.
Significant effort has already been contributed to the ESA's Mars mission. UK universities and research organisations have a strong track record in development and practical deployment of unmanned maritime systems. With over 90% of the information, people, goods, and services that sustain and create maritime regional economic prosperity flows in additions to its impact on the global environment, this is clearly a strategic area of focus for the UK RAS community.