Bristol’s Future Space attracts award-winning robotics company
One of the UK’s longest-running robotics companies, Shadow Robot Company, has opened a new office in Bristol-based Future Space, the University of the West of England’s (UWE) flagship enterprise and innovation facility.
“Having an office in Bristol is perfect for us, as we have many links out here in the West of England”
As a partner in the CHIRON project, a two-year programme to design the ‘care in the home’ robotics of the future, along with with the Bristol Robotics Lab (BRL) and assistive technologies charity, Designability – their move couldn’t have come at a better time.
Keen to find out more about the move and the CHIRON project, we caught up with Shadow Robot’s Managing Director, Rich Walker (pictured above), who tells us: “Having an office in Bristol is perfect for us, as we have many links out here in the West of England, plus it’s a great base for us to work closer with our partners on the CHIRON project. When we found out about Future Space, we were really excited – it just made total sense for us to expand into a growing hub.
“We’re also keen to build new relationships in this area and Future Space seems like the best possible fit for us in terms of location and links to other innovators and businesses. Our team will be picking up Brizzle accents before you know it!”
Robotics of the future
The CHIRON project (which stands for ‘Care at Home using Intelligent Robotic Omni-functional Nodes’) looks to create a set of intelligent modular robotic systems, located in multiple positions around the home. CHIRON could help you with personal hygiene tasks in the morning, help you get ready for the day and even support you in preparing your favourite meal in the kitchen.
“We’re delighted to have such an established robotics team joining us next door to the BRL and hope this proximity will help us develop further research collaborations”
Associate Professor Praminda Caleb-Solly, who is leading the BRL element of the CHIRON project, adds: “Ensuring that our research into developing assistive robots has the potential to reach people and make an impact in the real-world requires working from the start with commercial partners such as Shadow Robot.
“The BRL distinguishes itself from other research organisations in this area by working in a participatory manner with not only commercial enterprise who have experience of delivering market-ready products but also people who will be using technology in their homes and care organisations.
“It makes huge sense for Shadow Robot to take up a base in Bristol. We are working together with commercial partners on other robotic solutions to help older people live for longer in their own homes. We’re delighted to have such an established robotics team joining us next door to the BRL and hope this proximity will help us develop further research collaborations.”
As well as their involvement in CHIRON, Shadow Robot company recently launched their smart grasping system that’s set to transform the manufacturing industry by mimicking the varied grips in a human hand without the need for additional pieces of kit.
Check out the video below to see Shadow Robot’s smart grasping system in action:
It’s been an exciting journey for the company. Rich tells us: “We’re proudest of selling robots to two of the world’s space agencies, NASA and ESA, although the Incredible Bionic Man project goes a long way on the ‘wow’ factor!”
Find out more about Shadow Robot Company by checking out the Shadow Robot website. You can also find out more about their collaborative project with Designability and the BRL on the CHIRON website. To stay up to date with the company’s latest developments, you can follow them on Twitter: @shadowrobot.
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