HomeInfrastructuresBristol Robotics Laboratory | TERRINet

UWE Bristol logo
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Address:
Coldharbour Ln, Stoke Gifford,
Bristol BS16 1QY, UK

Website
Bristol Robotics Laboratory

Scientific Responsible
Chris Melhuish

The structure

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 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 recognized Centre of Excellence in Robotics, BRL’s state-of- the-art facilities cover an area of over 4,600 sq. metres. BRL houses around 200 people engaged on a range of robotics research and development projects. Currently seventeen themes form the key areas of work. These include: Aerial robots, Assisted Living, Bioenergy & Self Sustainable, Biomimetic and neuro-robotics, Control for HRI, Medical robotics, Nonlinear control in robotics, Robot vision, Safe human robot interaction, Self-repairing robotic systems, Smart automation, Soft robotics, Swarm robotics, Unconventional computation, Verification & validation. BRL is equipped with a number of robots ranging from a traditional 60kg payload KUKA KR60 to two twin arm YUMIs and a number of Universal robots and KUKA Light weight arms. There is also a machine shop and a 3D printing facility with a number of machines. The laboratory includes a machine vision group and has significant projects in the area of autonomous vehicles. The comprehensively equipped indoors flying arena if one of the largest in Europe.

Available platforms
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ABB IRB 120

Flexible 6-axis industrial robot, with a payload of 3 kg, designed specifically for manufacturing industries that use robot-based automation. 3 robots available, with compact IRC5, RobotWare and RobotStudio available.
3D camera available for bin picking and part location.
Flexible and with high speed. The presence of a cage or additional safety systems is required. High repeatability and speed, medium-low load capacity.
16/16 I/Os with 24V, 1 A power supply, and 5 MPa pneumatic air supply.

Technical specifications in brief

DoA6
InterfacesVarious
Power supplyN/A
WeightN/A
Load3 kg

Additional Information available here and here.

Key features

  • Maximum load capacity: 3 kg
  • Position repeatability: ±0.01 mm; accuracy: ±0.02 mm
  • Programmable via RAPID on HMI pendant or Robotstudio
  • DeviceNet, PROFIBUS adapter, Ethernet/IP, Allen-Bradley Remote I/O, PROFINET

Possible applications

  • Light Weight Pick and Place
  • Complex Sensor Driven Robot Control
  • Robot+Vision System Interfacing
  • Robot Cell Design
  • Robot-robot collaboration studies
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Engineered Arts – RoboThespian

Life size, interactive, fully programmable humanoid robot exhibit suitable for public display, demonstration and academic research.
A different head design containing a pico projector projects the entire face of the robot. Using InYaFace software, the face can take on any form and is animated in real time to show any expression.
Hybrid design with pneumatic and DC servo motor actuators for upper body, upper limbs and head. Featuring gripping hands.
Suitable for indoor use only.
Standard domestic mains power in the range 100v – 250v AC.

Technical specifications in brief

Power supply100v – 250v AC
Height1750 mm

Additional information available here.

Key features

  • Personalized, changing expression face with projectors.
  • Moving arms and grasping hands
  • Compatible OS:  Ubuntu LTS 64-bits, ROS LTS

Possible applications

  • Human Robot mimicking
  • Remote robot gesturing
  • Audio, gesture synchronisation
  • Robot Theatre and acting
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BRL – Bert

BERT-1 (Bristol Elumotion Robotic Torso) is a self contained, fully automated Robotic Torso, designed and built by Elumotion to provide a robotic platform based on human anatomy at adult human scale. RT-1 is a highly articulated manipulating platform and includes novel dexterous hands that allow emulation of human gesturing.
This anthopomorphic robot is designed to resabmle the human upper body and arms. Its degrees of freedom are approximately equal to humans’s upper limbs: 2 arms with 7 DOF each, plus 2 DOF shoulder and 2 DOF head.

Technical specifications in brief

Total DOF18
Collision detectionYes
Human-like motionYes

Additional information available here.

Key features

  • High flexibility and safety thanks to collision detection
  • Moving arms and grasping hands with human-like motion
  • Limited back-drivability compensated by advanced active compliance control and collision detection

Possible applications

  • Anthropomorphic robot motion
  • Robot Human Interaction
  • Audio and verbal robot interaction
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SoftBank Robotics NAO

An autonomous, programmable humanoid robot, featuring an inertial measurement unit with accelerometer, gyrometer and four ultrasonic sensors.
Force-sensing resistors on legs for adaptive walking.
Microphones, Ethernet and Wi-Fi connectivity, 2 cameras with face detection.
Linux-based operating system. Compatible with the Microsoft Robotics Studio, Cyberbotics Webots, and the Gostai URBI Studio.

Technical specifications in brief

DoA25
InterfaceEthernet, Wi-Fi
Autonomy90 minutes (lithium battery providing 48.6 Wh)
Weight4.3 kg
Height58 cm

Additional information available here.

Key features

  • CPU: Intel Atom @ 1.6 GHz
  • Compatible OS:  Windows, Mac OS, Linux
  • Programmable using Python, C++, Java, MATLAB
  • Two HD cameras, four microphones, sonar rangefinder, two infrared emitters and receivers, inertial board, nine tactile sensors, eight pressure sensors

Possible applications

  • Robot/Robot Interaction
  • Robot Listening and Speaking Experiments
  • Environment Perception
  • Education
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BRL – Flying Arena

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.

Additional information available here.

Key features

  • VICON motion tracking system
  • Cameras
  • Soft bed
  • Curtains and safety measures

Possible applications

  • Drone Development
  • Formation Flying of Drones
  • Drone Flight Control
  • Drone Platform for Sensors
  • Drone position calibration
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PAL Robotics Tiago

Service robot on mobile base, designed to work in indoor environments.
Laser range-finder and mapping and localization in unstructured indoor environments. People aware multi-sensor navigation. Obstacle avoidance.
Front RGB-D camera for object recognition and pose estimation, face detection & recognition, people detection.
Multilanguage text-to-speech & speech recognition. Remote control with tablet. Telepresence and teleoperation.
Pick & place with grasping and dexterous 7 DoF manipulator, with lead-through and force sensing.
Interchangeable end-effector with force-torque sensing.
Large workspace: from ground level to 1.5 m

Technical specifications in brief

DoA7
InterfaceEthernet, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
Arms Payload3 kg
Weight70 kg
Height110 – 145 cm

Additional information available here.

Key features

  • Autonomy: 1 battery, 4 – 5h
  • CPU: Intel i5, 4 Gb RAM
  • Compatible OS:  Ubuntu LTS 64-bits, ROS LTS
  • Programmable using Python, C++, Java, MATLAB
  • Two HD cameras, four microphones, sonar rangefinder, two infrared emitters and receivers, inertial board, nine tactile sensors, eight pressure sensors

Possible applications

  • Mobile robot studies
  • Robot vision and gesture studies
  • Telepresence and remote robot operation
  • ROS based robot programming