Royal visit

Royal visitor sees latest robotics at BRL

Issued by UWE Press Office on behalf of BRL - Date: 7 Feb 2014

HRH the Duke of York, KG at BRL

HRH the Duke of York, KG gained an insight into the latest advances in robotics research when he visited the Bristol Robotics Laboratory (BRL) on Monday 10 February 2014.

Bristol Robotics Laboratory (BRL) is the leading and largest 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 100 academics and industry practitioners, which lead current thinking in service robotics, intelligent autonomous systems and bio-engineering.

The Duke met scientists and engineers from the many different disciplines working in BRL including: materials scientists, software engineers, microbiologists, psychologists, aero engineers, control systems engineers, surgeons and clinicians.

He saw many disciplines being brought together to tackle important UK issues such as independent living in an aging population which the Mobiserv project is addressing, remote tele-robotic systems for remote medical inspection and how artificial muscles can be controlled - ideas inspired by how the mammalian brain functions.

He also saw groundbreaking research into energy autonomy for robots using waste which was recently awarded prestigious Gates Foundation Funding, where researchers charged a mobile phone using urine as the power source to generate electricity.

His Royal Highness also met innovative start-up businesses based in the BRL incubation facilities, with product developments in gaming, plastic reflective displays, 3D printing and robot kits for STEM education.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Steve West said, “We are delighted to welcome His Royal Highness to BRL. There is amazing potential here in the South West region to develop some of the most innovative robotic technology currently being researched in the UK and Europe, and this is a great opportunity for the Duke to get an insight into some of the latest developments.”

Professor Chris Melhuish, Director of BRL emphasised, “Our focus is to bring together the excellent facilities and multidisciplinary team at BRL with leading funders, innovators and to make the most of this opportunity for the region and the economy. We are very pleased to welcome His Royal Highness to BRL to share in this innovative work.”

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BRL facts and figures

Brief BRL Lab Specification

  • BRL covers an area of approximately 4,600 sqm
  • BRL consists of thirty three Research Bays each covers an area of approximately 25 sqm
  • All six BRL Laboratories comply to Containment Level 2 (CL2) standard and cover an area of approximately 335 sqm
  • BRL facilities include two Flying Arenas. The Large Flying Arena covers an area of 182 sqm and the Small an area of 106 sqm.
  • The Large Flying Arena is equipped with an Infrared Motion Tracking System and an overhead camera

Research Themes

  • Aerial robots
  • Assisted Living
  • Bioenergy & Self Sustainable
  • Biomimetic and neuro-robotics
  • Medical robotics
  • Non-linear robotics
  • Robot vision
  • Safe human robot interaction
  • Self-repairing robotic systems
  • Smart automation
  • Soft robotics
  • Swarm robotics
  • Unconventional computation
  • Verification & validation

Range of Staff Disciplines

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

Page last updated 22 May 2017