About Bristol Robotics Laboratory

About us

About us

Bristol Robotics Laboratory (BRL) is the most comprehensive academic centre for multi-disciplinary robotics research in the UK. It is a collaborative partnership between the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) and the University of Bristol, and home to a vibrant community of over 200 academics, researchers and industry practitioners. Together, they are world leaders in current thinking on service robotics, intelligent autonomous systems and bio-engineering. An internationally recognised Centre of Excellence in Robotics, BRL’s state-of-the-art facilities cover an area of over 4,600 sq. metres (50,000 sq. feet).

Our mission

The primary mission of BRL is to understand the science, engineering and social role of robotics and embedded intelligence. In particular, the key challenges surrounding adaptive robotics, namely: dealing with people and their unpredictability, unstructured and uncertain environments, and equiping robots for flexible roles. BRL is a unique collaboration that harnesses the collective strengths of its partners to spearhead Britain’s efforts to be a world leader in modern advanced robotics.

Our research

The Laboratory is currently involved in interdisciplinary research projects addressing key areas of robot capabilities and applications including: smart automation, human-robot interaction, bio-energy and self-sustainable systems, biomimetic tactile sensors and haptic feedback systems, unmanned aerial vehicles, driverless cars, swarming behaviour, assisted living technologies, non-linear control, medical and rehabilitation robotics, machine vision, robot safety, verification and validation, unconventional computation and soft robotics.

Our networks

BRL maintains strong national and international links with both industry and other research institutes and has an enviable track record of successful research and innovation. BRL jointly delivers the €27m European funded ECHORD++ initiative, which helps businesses develop and deploy robotic technologies, and turn good ideas into new products and services. The Laboratory is involved in multipe innovative applications of robotics for commercial and industrial exploitation, including a Technology Business Incubator. The Incubator provides physical space and facilities for early stage, high tech start-up companies, alongside a package of targeted business support that includes mentoring, technical guidance, and access to industry specialists and investors. BRL works closely with trade associations and industry networks, and hosts a variety of national and international robotics conferences and competitions. BRL runs and collaborates in exciting public engagement projects at a number of locations in Bristol and the region.

Our teaching

In addition to its core research activities, BRL offers PhD level research programmes through its EPSRC funded Centre for Doctoral Training in Robotics and Autonomous Systems. The Laboratory also offers a full range of taught courses at undergraduate and postgraduate levels, Masters level research programmes and selected internships.

Our facilities

The Laboratory is located in Bristol, South West England. The on-site facilities include full mechanical workshops, wet labs, rapid prototyping facilities, an ambient assisted living studio, flying arena, a 16,000L test pool and 3 Vicon 3D positioning systems. The Laboratory also hosts a lecture theatre, seminar rooms and a fully equipped video conference suite.

Business Manager

Research partners

UWE Bristol LogoUniversity of Bristol logo

Range of Staff Disciplines

  • Aerodynamicists
  • Biologists
  • Chemical Engineers
  • Computer Scientists
  • Electronics Engineers
  • Material Scientists
  • Mathematicians
  • Mechanical Engineers
  • Surgeons
  • Psychologists
  • Philosophers

BRL facts and figures
Brief BRL Lab Specification

  • BRL covers an area of approximately 4,600 sqm
  • BRL consists of thirty three Research Bays
  • All six BRL Laboratories comply to Containment Level 2 (CL2) standard
  • BRL facilities include two Flying Arenas.
  • The Large Flying Arena is equipped with an Infrared Motion Tracking System and an overhead camera

BRL People

BRL comprises a talented multidisciplinary research community including: electronic and mechanical engineers, computer scientists, mathematicians, biologists, aerodynamicists, psychologists, surgeons, designers and material scientists.

Page last updated 11 January 2019