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UK’s Best Robotics Firms Win UK Govt Competition To Attend Prestigious ‘Mission’ In California

London, 11 June 2014: The Technology Strategy Board, the UK’s innovation agency, today announced the winners that will attend the prestigious ‘Robotics and Autonomous Systems Mission 2014’ held from 23-27 June 2014 in California.

The selected robotics companies represent the very best that the British robotics and autonomous systems industry has to offer, showcasing the breadth and depth of innovation within British robotics.  The technologies range from an entrepreneur that has created a new robot based on the Raspberry Pi mini-computer, to one company designing robots to help the elderly and another company creating the world’s smallest Unmanned Aerial Vehicles.  More detailed information about the seven companies is available below.

The Mission starts on June 23 and will see the winning companies embark on a week long journey through San Diego, San Francisco and Silicon Valley to showcase their technology to peers, partners, investors and potential customers.  The Technology Strategy Board together with UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) has organised a packed agenda of briefings, meetings pitch opportunities and networking events to ensure the British robotics companies and entrepreneurs get unparalleled access to the US robotics ecosystem and unique insights into how to expand their business internationally.

Mike Biddle, Deputy Director – Innovation Programmes at the Technology Strategy Board, said:

“The mission is designed to open doors, build networks and showcase British innovation and Silicon Valley and San Francisco are synonymous with being at the forefront of global robotics and autonomous systems technology.  These companies will benefit from meetings with leading robotics, academic and research institutions, gaining fresh ideas and developing new partnerships and funding opportunities. It’s a springboard which can help them to launch their business, thrive and turn their innovations into tangible business opportunities.”

Louis Barson, Deputy Director at UKTI Innovation Gateway, said:

“UK Trade and Investment’s Innovation Gateway is supporting the UK’s strengths in the 8 GREAT Technologies, including our growing Robotics industry. We see this mission as a chance for  some of our most exciting up and coming businesses to do deals and build connections in the US. And maybe sow the seeds for the next big breakthrough technology as a US-UK collaboration!”




The companies earned their place on the Mission by demonstrating the potential of their technologies to the Technology Strategy Board.

The participants of 2014 Robotics and Autonomous Systems Mission are:


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. 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.

Aura Tech

Advanced Unmanned Robotics & Automation TECHnology (AuraTech) was founded in 2012 and operates out of the Tees Valley in the North of England. AuraTech offers engineering and design consultancy services for remote technology applications, and is currently working on a Remote Operate Aerial Endurance Vehicle (ROAEV).


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.


MapleBird 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.

Reach Robotics

Reach Robotics, founded in May 2013, is a robotics entertainment company based at the Bristol Robotics Lab incubator. The company has developed MechaMonsters – 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.

Sebastian Conran Associates

Sebastian Conran Associates (SCA) is a London-based product design and development studio that focuses on transforming science into culture to create robotic experiences in the home. Concepts under development include ‘MiRoCo’, a Mimetic Robotic Companion -designed to support and enhance peoples’ experience of later life by increasing their independence.


Shadow  has a globally-recognised capability in taking cognitive robotics technology from the 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.

The progress of the seven companies can be followed at @roboticsmission.

 The Robotics and Autonomous Systems Mission 2014 (

The Technology Strategy Board and UKTI are leading an entrepreneurs’ mission specialising in Robotics and Autonomous Systems (RAS) to California.  It’s a unique week-long trip from 23-27 June 2014 for 10 of the UK’s most innovative start-ups and SMEs specialising in Robotics and Autonomous Systems (RAS).  The mission features a specially-developed programme for companies who want to lay the groundwork for expanding their business into one of the largest and most dynamic robotics markets in the world. The bespoke agenda is designed to provide a unique insight into the US robotics and autonomous systems landscape, open doors to customers and connect with robotics investors.

 The Technology Strategy Board (

The Technology Strategy Board is the UK’s innovation agency.  Its goal is to accelerate economic growth by stimulating and supporting business-led innovation. Sponsored by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), the Technology Strategy Board brings together business, research and the public sector, supporting and accelerating the development of products and services to meet market needs, tackle major societal challenges and help build the future economy.


UK Trade & Investment (

UK Trade & Investment is the Government Department that helps UK-based companies succeed in the global economy. We also help overseas companies bring their high-quality investment to the UK’s dynamic economy acknowledged as Europe’s best place from which to succeed in global business.

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