Journal article

A global horizon scan of the future impacts of robotics and autonomous systems on urban ecosystems

Mark A Goddard, Zoe G Davies, Solene Guenat, Mark J Ferguson, Jessica C Fisher, Adeniran Akanni, Teija Ahjokoski, Pippin ML Anderson, Fabio Angeoletto, Constantinos Antoniou, Adam J Bates, Andrew Barkwith, Adam Berland, Christopher J Bouch, Christine C Rega-Brodsky, Loren B Byrne, David Cameron, Rory Canavan, Tim Chapman, Stuart Connop Show all

NATURE ECOLOGY & EVOLUTION | NATURE RESEARCH | Published : 2021

Abstract

Technology is transforming societies worldwide. A major innovation is the emergence of robotics and autonomous systems (RAS), which have the potential to revolutionize cities for both people and nature. Nonetheless, the opportunities and challenges associated with RAS for urban ecosystems have yet to be considered systematically. Here, we report the findings of an online horizon scan involving 170 expert participants from 35 countries. We conclude that RAS are likely to transform land use, transport systems and human-nature interactions. The prioritized opportunities were primarily centred on the deployment of RAS for the monitoring and management of biodiversity and ecosystems. Fewer challe..

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Grants

Awarded by UK government's Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council


Awarded by European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union


Funding Acknowledgements

We are grateful to all of the participants who took part in this study, and to J. Bentley for preparing the figures. This work was funded by the UK government's Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (grant EP/N010523/1: 'Balancing the Impact of City Infrastructure Engineering on Natural Systems using Robots'). Z.G.D. was funded by the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (consolidator grant no. 726104).