UK Technology Strategy Board send British robotics firms over the pond

Several small robotic startups are preparing to pitch in San Francisco this week


Enterprise worthy D-RisQ, the smallest unmanned aerial vehicle in the world, child-friendly MechaMonsters and a Raspberry Pi based robot kit will be showcased to Californian Venture Capitalists in San Francisco this week.

We were invited to the Unruly headquarters in East London to meet the robots, and their creators.

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Sophie Boldon, UK Trade and Investment, Phil Williams, Knowledge Transfer Networks, Glenn Smith, MapleBird, Huw Davies, Technology Strategy Board, Silas Adekunle, Reach Robotics, Eamonn McStravick, Aura Tech, Nick Tudor, D-Risq, Rich Walker, Shadow Robotics and Sebastian Conran, Sebastian Conran Associates

Robotic mission

The Robotics and Autonomous Systems Mission 2014 involves a week-long journey through San Diego, San Francisco and Silicon Valley to showcase the inventor's robots to others in the industry as well as potential investors, partners and customers. The firms won funding for the trip, kicking off next week, from the Technology Strategy Board.

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Smith talks to fellow robotic entrepeneur Adekunle


Former City slicker Glenn Smith will be showcasing his team's prototype that is at the forefront in the development of the smallest Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) in the world. This technology enables a range of small devices and opens up many possibilities, from sophisticated reconnaissance UAVs for civilian services and industrial plant inspection through to personal drones controlled through a smart phone.

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The team have harnessed the power of the bees wing mechanics, but unlike competitors, MapleBird's engine is the smallest, and most powerful, Smith said.

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Reach Robotics

Silas Adekunle, who has just graduated from Bristol University, stands with the Reach Robotics team's product, MechaMonsters. Reach Robotics, founded in May 2013 and based at the Bristol Robotics Lab incubator.

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Hoping to take the children's toy market by storm, Reach Robotic's MechaMonsters is a small, four-legged robots that can interact with their owners and each other (by playing games and challenging other MechaMonsters to duels). The Monsters can be customised physically and virtually, and are controlled through a smart phone app.

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Rich Walker discusses his dexterous hand

Shadow Robotics

Shadow has a globally-recognised capability in taking cognitive robotics technology from the research lab into the real world. Shadow's key product is the Dexterous Hand, which gives robots the same capability and flexibility as the human hand, enabling a new generation of service robots for roles as varied as hazardous material handling and industrial quality control.

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Dexterous Hand

Rich Walker hopes that Silicon Valley will take an interest in his already widely-used human-like hand.

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Harry Gee takes to the stage to present his prototype the PiBot. His company, Agilic is a start-up based at The Bristol Robotics Lab technology Incubator. Agilic is developing a range of educational Robotics kits that inspire learning and play.

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The PiBot is based on the Raspberry Pi mini-computer, a low cost, credit-card sized computer that has gained worldwide adoption, it will allow anyone to build, program, and customise their own personal robot.

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Nick Tudor, co-founder, takes to the stage. Enterprise-friendly D-RisQ produces automated formal analysis tools that change the way the world develops safety critical systems and software in sectors where the consequences of failure -could be catastrophic including Aerospace, Defence, Nuclear Power, Rail, Automotive and Robotics. These tools cut the cost and time of development whilst ensuring safety requirements are met. Applicable to all business sectors, these tools have been used successfully on software systems for military aircraft.


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