Professor David Lane FREng FRSE - Imagine Festival

David Lane is Director of the Edinburgh Centre for Robotics, ( a £35M joint venture between Heriot-Watt and Edinburgh Universities, involving some 30 world leading investigators in 12 cross disciplinary research groups across Engineering and Informatics. It includes the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Robotics and Autonomous Systems (RAS), and the ROBOTARIUM National Equipment Facility for Research into Robot Interaction. He also directs the Oceans Systems Laboratory at HWU (

In 2001 he founded SeeByte Ltd and Inc (, and as CEO until 2010 lead the company’s organic evolution from startup to a multi-million dollar organisation commercialising a 20 year portfolio of research in autonomous subsea robotics into the international offshore energy and defense markets. Growing at an average 45% p.a. during the recession, continually cash positive, with 75% of its business in exports to three continents and offices in Edinburgh, San Diego and Seattle, SeeByte won the 2010 Praxis Unico Business Impact Achieved Award and 2013 Scottish Digital Technology Award for International Growth.

In public leadership roles, he chaired the BIS/InnovateUK Robotics and Autonomous Systems Special Interest Group (RAS-SIG) from 2013-14, formulating and launching the U.K.’s national RAS innovation strategy for the Minister for Universities and Science. From 2013-15 he was a Director of the euRobotics AISBL not-for-profit shaping the EU Horizon2020 Robotics public-private partnership between research and industry.