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BT opens first UK robotics test lab

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BT has today announced the opening of a robotics research facility at the BT Labs in Suffolk.

The 5000+ square foot facility will be the first telecoms civil engineering robotics test facility in the UK and BT will work with the university sector to trial a new range of UK developed robotics.

The lab is expected to play an important role in supporting BT’s fibre programme and will help to facilitate collaboration with other utilities such as power and water companies as they roll out and update their underground and overhead networks.

It will also help to address problems like installing new fibre network infrastructure without incurring the cost and delays that come with digging up roads and pavements.

Professor Tim Whitley, BT’s MD of research, said: “The UK is a hotbed of civil engineering innovation, with a thriving university ecosystem and an enviable robotics startup sector.

“Our aim is to bring those players together in a dedicated facility to develop solutions that make the UK a world leader in telecoms civil engineering robotics.

“The lab will provide a hub for the creation of solutions to real world challenges and pioneering applications of robots, reinforcing the UK’s position at the heart of research and innovation into advanced technologies.”

The site is an indoor facility and will emulate underground, in-duct and overhead environments which will allow testing to be carried out.

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