The Robotics and Agents Research Lab started as a merger between UCT's Agents Research Group from Computer Science and the Robotics Group affiliated with Mechanical Engineering.
Since the Lab was founded in 2008, the main focus of the lab is on teaching and research in the fields of Robotics, Artificial Intelligence and Computational Intelligence. The main robots currently under development are in the fields of rescue and underwater exploration.
In rescue the focus has shifted away from larger and more expensive robots to smaller, cheaper and simpler ones. The underwater ROV is an inspection class vehicle designed to operate at depths of up to 300m.
The RARL is hosted within the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Cape Town. Postgraduate students are taken from streams of mechanical, electrical and computer science graduates.
Undergraduate students are also involved in the early stages of projects or on implementing smaller aspects of the larger research effort.