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Robots for construction application

For those who have seen Ex-Machina, read iRobot or listened to Stephen Hawking’s warning of AI eventually becoming a threat to our very existence, the growing use of robots may seem disconcerting. For others, however, such as one company over in Wandsworth, the realm of robotics is delivering something that for others sounds entirely unexpected.

We talk, of course, of one wily little robot who has been busy shaking up the world of construction, and here we take a look at just what this singular fella has been up to on-site.

Introducing Q-Bot: The newest tool to have on-site

For years contractors of all descriptions have struggled with the reaching of impossible to fit-in parts of buildings (such as under floorboards and within roof cavities); and this is where Q-Bot steps in.

“We are at the early stages of a transformation in the building and infrastructure industries, a game-changing development that will see the use of collaborative semi-autonomous robots to assist us in a range of tasks too dangerous, time-consuming or expensive for humans alone to perform”.

- Ilian Iliev, chief executive of EcoMachines Ventures


Developed by Eco Machines Ventures this hardy little robot has garnered around £2m worth of finance to bring it to where it is today, and after having been four years in the making this bit of technological kit is now working alongside organisations such as Camden Council, City West Homes, Islington and Peabody, within all of which he’s helped install insulation in houses.


“The construction industry still relies on many labour intensive processes which have not changed for hundreds of years. Our vision is to create intelligent tools that empower people, upskilling the workforce, creating new jobs, making the operation safer, more productive and rewarding”.

- Mathew Holloway, Q-Bot chief executive and co-founder


Trials with resounding success and a potential roll out to other councils

Camden Council and City West Homes were the first to trial the use of a robot within their development and insulation works, where within two test properties the outcomes showed a significant increase in efficiency in insulation, in addition to reduced permeability (something that has been a notorious issue for the insulation realm).

Most specifically Q-Bot helped to reduce the total heat lost through the floor by a staggering 85% (where exposed timber floors were in place) and by 72% where there was timber and carpet.

“This is a very significant result when considering a floor has contributed to nearly half the leaks and draughts for a whole house with wooden single glazed sash windows.”

- Mathew Holloway, Q-Bot chief executive and co-founder

Tangibly these massive efficiency savings equated to a reduction in the difference from floor to head height from 4°C to 1.5°C: something that simply never seemed attainable prior to Q-Bot’s arrival. All of these results then deliver energy savings of £200 each and every year (another vital achievement within a world where currently a household’s largest bills are their energy costs).

What’s more with green credentials becoming an ever bigger concern for councils (and the developers who work alongside them) Q-Bot’s equally delivering vital savings in the form of CO2, which could undoubtedly pave the way for an easier route to hitting new and ever more stringent building regulations that set minimum efficiency requirements.

"We are also trialling the solution with some public sector buildings with Cardiff Council and the Welsh government.”

- Camden Council and City West Homes

Unsurprisingly Camden Council and City West Homes are now eying up opportunities for Q-Bots within other sectors and projects, and when remaining councils throughout the land read about the results delivered through Q-Bot, we’re sure that they’ll need to be more than one of this little guy to go around!

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