Intelligent Autonomous Systems Laboratory

In partnership with the University of Bristol, IAS has been renamed "Bristol Robotics Laboratory". The new website is at

This site is retained for historic interest and information only.
It is not updated.
All enquiries for vacancies or courses should be made via the
BRL website

EcoBot II Page

Animal Behaviour - Artist in Residence


Images of the IAS Lab. Click on the pictures and find the links....


Submar Water Robots

Water Robot Test Area


LinuxBot Learning U-Bot Ant Research Powered Floor LinuxBot Learning Asteroid Lander

Main Robot Arena with Video Recording Equipment


Ant Research Lab


Flying Blimps

Flying Blimp Arena


EcoBot Lab


The Intelligent Autonomous Systems Laboratory (IAS) researches ways in which autonomous robots - large and small; walking, climbing and flying - can be developed to 'do the right thing at the right time'. Using innovative approaches researchers at UWE are developing robots to assist humans in dangerous situations in, say, detecting land mines; inspecting, sorting mail, risk-assessment or maintenance of hazardous or inaccessible plant and machinery, or in locating the sources of pollution.


Linux Radio Robot




Ant-like Robots


IAS aims to further the understanding of systems which must operate autonomously and exhibit 'intelligent' behaviour, that is make appropriate decisions without reference to any human assistance. A key philosophy is one of transfer of theoretical concepts to engineered realisation. Furthermore, the laboratory draws inspiration from evolutionary biology and studies in animal behaviour, artificial intelligence and artificial life.


The Flying Flock


The laboratory has striven to create a pragmatic mix between research and development work covering the whole spectrum from 'blue skies' theoretical innovation, to concrete solutions for real problems. Some systems are software or abstract. Others are physical, including mobile robots, for which the laboratory is especially renowned.

The IAS Laboratory is located in purpose-designed Engineering research accommodation - workshop, electronics laboratory and office space - in the Du Pont building adjacent to UWE's main campus. The laboratory notably incorporates a 144m2 mobile robotics arena for conducting large-scale experiments in Collective Robotics. It is equipped with a broadcast quality ceiling-mounted camera together with stop-frame vision systems for recording experimental runs onto compact disk and video-conferencing equipment. Support equipment includes both frequency hopping and spread spectrum radio LAN systems for communication with mobile robots. The adjacent 100m2 workshop and technical office is well equipped for electronics and embedded software development including surface mount PCB design and electronics prototyping equipment, and accommodates three full-time robotics technicians.


Full Time Technical Support



The laboratories team of researchers has many links with companies and other research centres home and abroad. Partnerships have been forged with fellow researchers at the Californian Institute of Technology, USA (Caltech) and the University of Hokkaido, Japan, as well as the universities of Bath, Sussex and Oxford. Funding sources include British Aerospace (Sowerby Research Centre), Caltech, Hewlett-Packard Laboratories, The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and Royal Mail.


News: IAS begins a collaborative project with the Adaptive Behaviour Research Group at the University of Sheffield later this year. The study, funded by EPSRC and referred to as the 'Whiskerbot' project, will investigate a biomimetic artificial whisker system which could provide a novel form of robot tactile sensor capable of texture discrimination and object recognition. The project will involve mounting an array of actively-controlled artificial whiskers on a mobile robot that will input to biologically-accurate computational models of sensory pathways in the rat brain.



Questions on the IAS Laboratory to Chris Melhuish:



Link from here to the U.W.E. Faculty of Environment and Technology

or the U.W.E. Home Page.

In order to view all of the content and features, you need to activate JavaScript on your computer.

Comments or questions on this site or any links to webmaster