A robot can now install your underfloor insulation
Installing underfloor insulation is one of the best ways to improve the energy efficiency of a property but it can be an extremely tricky job. That's where the Q-Bot comes in.
Q-Bot was created by UK based EcoMachines Ventures and was built to make installing underfloor insulation easier in properties which have suspended timber floors. Traditionally this type of floor would be insulated by removing floorboards, however this can be messy and time consuming. Q-Bot actually works by spraying polyurtethane foam to the underneath of the floorboards. The robot can be inserted through an air vent and is supplied with polyurtethane foam from a specialist van nearby.
Not only does the Q-Bot apply the foam, it can also survey areas which may be difficult for a human installer to reach. It can build up 3D maps of these areas, gathering information on its conditions and identifying services that can be provided.
The Q-Bot was trialled by Camden Council, Peabody and CityWest Homes and all received very positive results. In a 2015 press release, EcoMachines Ventures shared these results 'In Camden heat-loss through the floor was reduced by 78% and cold air infiltration was eradicated, reducing infiltration into the house by over 60%. In the CityWest trial the total heat loss through the floor was reduced by 86%. In addition, a 45% reduction in cold air infiltration was achieved despite the single glazed sash windows remaining untreated. Most importantly, the trials resulted in happy tenants, living in much more comfortable homes, without having suffered any disruption to their day to day life from the insulation work.'
Q-Bot has also taken the robotics world by storm, winning both the IEEE Invention and Entrepreneurship in Robotics and Automation Award for 2015, and the Research and Innovation Award from CIOB.
Founding director of Q-Bot Tom Lipinski commented on this success "A UK Start-up winning the World Entrepreneurship in Robotics Award might sound odd - we consider Japan as the leader in Robotics and US in enterprise. Yet very little of the current Robotics know-how is being actively applied to real life problems, especially in the US. Yes we are at the forefront of robotic vision, image fusion, localization and mapping but it is the impact we have that makes this the most rewording job on the planet: helping reduce fuel poverty and improving lives while saving energy and the environment. This wouldn't be possible if it wasn't cost effective but thanks to the cutting edge technology, it is – we have a number of Social Housing clients who prove it."