The technology could have a wide array of applications, from agriculture to construction, as well as being deployed at the scenes of natural disasters.
Another project, led by Dr Yujiang Wang at Newcastle University, is developing future treatments for people with epilepsy.
The team will combine wearable sensors with long-term brain recordings to analyse changes in epileptic seizures.
By studying how seizures vary from case to case, Dr Wang and his fellow researchers could help forecast future seizures and possibly reduce their severity.
Professor Dame Ottoline Leyser, UKRI Chief Executive, said: “I am delighted that UKRI is able to support the next generation of research and innovation leaders through our Future Leaders Fellowship programme.