The Bristol Robotics Laboratory (BRL) is a joint venture between the University of the West of England, Bristol (UWE), and the University of Bristol (BRIS). BRL is not a legal entity so, for the purpose of this submission both universities are registered as legal entities; UWE is identified as the co-ordinator. BRL’s mission is to understand the science, engineering and social role of robotics and embedded intelligence. Our multidisciplinary approach aims to create autonomous devices capable of working independently, with each other, or with us in our human society. The BRL is a substantial interdisciplinary venture drawing on approximately 100 academics and researchers to embrace robotics, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, computer science, psychology, cognitive science, sociology and anthropology.
What motivates us
The TACTIP sensor combines novel research work at BRL on compliant tactile sensing with our industrial robotics partners ELUMOTION to make a new design for a finger tip sensor which will augment the CORDIS listed ELU2 robot hand. Furthermore, a successful outcome will yield opportunities to exploit other (non-humanoid) robot systems, which need tactile sensing. The current (and incompletely designed) BRL tactile sensor is capable of detecting small edges and surface deformation and even a human pulse. However, it does need characterising against a set of performance metrics, which is part of the current sesearch experiment.
There will be four major outcomes of this experiment:
- We will have verified the concept of the biomimetically inspired compliant tactile sensor, which has been subjected to benchmark performance testing.
- A new version of a robot hand ready for commercialisation.
- The probe can also be commercially exploited in other robotic (and possibly non-robotic) applications.
- Strengthened relationship with industrial partner.