Best of the Best British Robotics Companies Start Touring California Today

UK’s Innovation Agency Commences ‘Robotics and Autonomous Systems Entrepreneur Mission 2014’ in California

SAN FRANCISCO – June 23, 2014 – The Technology Strategy Board, the UK’s innovation agency, today embarks on the ‘Robotics and Autonomous Systems Mission 2014’ with eight robotics companies from the UK. The mission will allow these companies to showcase their technology to peers, partners, investors and potential customers.

The eight 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.

Mission activities begin today as the eight companies and representatives from The Technology Strategy Board venture to San Diego where they will meet with representatives from industry-leading maritime and robotics companies. The San Diego leg of the mission will be headlined by a roundtable discussion keynoted by Rt Hon. David Willetts, the Minister of State for Universities and Science.

Following events in San Diego, the mission will travel to Silicon Valley and San Francisco where the companies will continue with a packed agenda of briefings and partnership discussions with leading US robotics companies, academic organizations and research institutions as well as meeting with investors to explore US funding opportunities focused on innovation in the field of robotics. The Mission will end on Friday 27 June in San Francisco.



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.

Q Bot

Q-Bot is developing a robotics platform that can cost effectively survey, assess and apply treatments to existing buildings, without the cost and disruption of current insulation methods. With a focus on improving energy efficiency in buildings, Q-Bot provides real, scalable and cost effective solutions to reduce CO2 and enable affordable warmth.

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

More information about the Robotics and Autonomous Systems Mission 2014 can be found here:

About 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.

 About 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.


Press Contact:

Alex Monney

(408) 386-2966

The Robotics Mission Roundtable: The Future of Robotics [Livestream]

What will be the role of robotics in the workplace? How can startups in robotics become mass-market success stories? And what will the robotics industry look like in five, or even 50 years? Today, the Robotics Mission group joins academic, government and industry experts from California to explore “The Future of Robotics and Autonomous Systems” at a roundtable discussion.

Hosted by the Qualcomm Institute at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), the panel brings together the eight companies on the mission, with a keynote from Minister of State for Universities and Science, the Rt. Hon. David Willetts, MP.

The Future of Robotics Roundtable at UCSD

The one-hour panel discussion and Q&A will begin at 1:30 p.m. Pacific time (9:30 pm BST) on Monday, June 23 in UCSD’s Calit2 Auditorium, Atkinson Hall. The event is open to the public and free of charge,and the session will be streamed live.

British and American researchers and executives who are not in San Diego this week. The webcast will subsequently be archived for on-demand viewing.

“The Qualcomm Institute is delighted to welcome the UK delegation to California, and we’re honored that our institute and UC San Diego are the first stop on a very ambitious and hectic five-day agenda,” said institute director Ramesh Rao, one of the leading faculty members involved in a robotics initiative at UC San Diego.

“California companies and investors also have a lot to learn from the early successes in Britain’s robotics industry, and it’s worth remembering that the industry in the UK and California owes much of its strength to the ideas and personnel coming out of the world-class universities in both places.”

During the panel discussion, UCSD Associate Vice Chancellor for Research Miroslav Krstic will welcome the UK delegation to the campus.

Willetts will deliver the keynote talk on UK science policy and the Conservative government’s efforts to nurture the startup environment for companies and investors in British robotics ventures – and his vision for cooperation between UK and California companies. Also on the panel:

Ramesh Rao, Director, Qualcomm Institute and holder of the Qualcomm Endowed Chair in Information Technologies and Telecommunications in the Electrical and Computer Engineering department (moderator);

Todd Hylton, Senior Vice President, Brain Corporation;

Andra Keay, Managing Director, Silicon Valley Robotics, the leading networking association for robotics in Silicon Valley; and

Rich Walker, Managing Director, Shadow Robot Company. Founded in 1987, Shadow Robot’s leading product is the Dexterous Hand, which gives robots the same capability and flexibility as the human hand with 20 degrees of freedom and over 100 sensors in a package the same size as a human hand.