Bristol Robotics Laboratory (BRL) is the most comprehensive academic centre for multi-disciplinary robotics research in the UK, and one of the largest co-located robotics research centres in Europe. It is a partnership between the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) and the University of Bristol and home to over 450 academics, industry practitioners and researchers from more than 50 countries.

BRL’s primary mission 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 equipping robots for flexible roles.

BRL maintains strong national and international links with industry and academic institutes and has an enviable track-record of successful research and innovation. The lab is involved in multiple innovative applications of robotics for commercial and industrial exploitation, and houses a Hardware Incubator and Robotics Innovation Facility (RIFBristol).

BRL’s Hardware Incubator is a core element of UWE’s University Enterprise Zone (UEZ) and was formed to support graduates, start-ups and early-stage businesses focused on robotics, hardware and smart devices. Since 2013, BRL has contributed more than £46 million to the UK economy.

Adjacent to the Hardware Incubator is the Robotics Innovation Facility providing robotics and automation consultancy services, including training, prototyping and testing of new products. Its team of engineers help a range of clients including entrepreneurs, start-ups, SMEs and larger corporations to de-risk ideas and overcome innovation challenges. RIFBristol has helped over 620 organisations, including 400 SMEs.

BRL works closely with trade associations and industry networks and hosts a variety of national and international robotics conferences and competitions. It also hosts the West of England Robotics Network (WoERN), the Women in Robotics Network and AI Hub.

On-site facilities comprise 32 (25m2) research bays equipped with numerous robots, five wet labs incorporating a microbiology lab for developing microbial fuel cell technologies, chemical lab, polymer/soft robotics lab and two temperature controlled wet labs. BRL also includes seven experimental test-beds including a flying arena, industrial robotics swarm arena, nuclear decommissioning suite, machine vision centre, haptics lab, and a fully sensored/networked assisted living studio for testing home robot solutions. This is complemented by a driverless car workshop and test simulation suite, a hazardous test area for laser and x-ray testing, and multiple workshops boasting state of the art rapid prototyping, 3D printing and CNC equipment.

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.

Students from across the world understand the wealth of opportunities Bristol Robotics Laboratory provides, from Gold standard teaching to accessing state-ofthe-art facilities, equipment and technical support, whilst industry acknowledges the highly skilled talent pool within BRL that continues to contribute and shape the technologies of tomorrow.


+44 (0)117 3286913
University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) Frenchay Campus, Coldharbour Lane, Bristol
BS16 1QY United Kingdom

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