Our Facility

Our stunning £22.4m, purpose-built facility, located on Heriot-Watt University’s Edinburgh campus, has unrivalled laboratories and collaboration spaces for the testing and development of robotics and AI solutions.

Our scientists and robot engineers work with specialist, high-spec equipment and technologies that facilitate cutting-edge research and development across Robotics and Autonomous Systems (RAS), Human-Robot Interaction (HRI) and Precision Laser Applications (PLA).

Open, Collaborative

The layout of the National Robotarium was designed to promote collaboration by placing our distinct research labs around an eye-catching and welcoming Atrium space.

The facility provides physical and visual transparency and connectivity for all building users, the mix of space types and finishes complementing the overall experience and has instantly become recognisably the face of robotics in Scotland.

Specialist, high-spec laboratories

Robotics and Autonomous Systems

The RAS (Robotics & Autonomous Systems) labs focus on larger scale industrial robotics. The double height space can be used for testing with drones, and roller shutter doors open to the back of the building allowing large equipment into the space for research and testing.

Specialist, high-spec laboratories

Human-Robot Interaction

Multiple HRI labs create a place to study interaction between robots and people together. The space has been designed to test and study how robots will behave in different situations in everyday life.

Its Laboratory for Robotic Assistive living (LARA) allows researchers to test and develop assistive robots, artificial intelligence, Internet of Things (IoT), and smart sensor technology in a two-bedroom, fully accessible model home. LARA provides a testbed to emulate and assess natural living habits, leading to more practical and effective solutions for people with assisted living needs.

Precision Laser Applications

The Precision Laser Application (PLA) labs research and manufacture things on the micro scale, fitted with state-of-the-art equipment , strategically located close to the RAS labs for collaboration between the two departments.

Sustainable, energy efficient

The award-winning National Robotarium facility was designed with sustainability and energy efficiency at its heart and boasts an intelligent facade, clean energy and EV charging points.

The striking two-storey 141 glass panel double skin façade front creates an imposing first impression and has an important sustainability element. The south-facing building’s double skin creates a buffer zone between the interior and the outdoor temperatures, which traps the heat and distributes it inside, reducing energy consumption.

The 40,000 sq ft building is powered by solar energy following the installation of 485m2 of solar PV panels, supported by the  Scottish Funding Council’s University Carbon Reduction Fund. The array will provide ~86,500 kWh of renewable generation each year, reducing emissions by around 18.25 tonnes and saving £24,800 in operating costs.

Find out more in this case study.

Fabric first

The National Robotarium was created by Michael Laird Architects, Robertson Construction and Heriot-Watt University using a ‘fabric first’ approach, ensuring the integrity of every individual component and material, improving thermal performance and energy demand within the fabric of the building’s envelope design.

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