Over 85,000 work-related falls happen each year from a height in the UK and US combined. Not only does this mean risk to staff safety, but it costs over a billion pounds in insurance claims and productivity loss. HausBots was founded to help reduce this danger by manufacturing robots for painting, high-definition visual inspection and building and infrastructure surveys.
HausBots Ltd has developed a wall-painting robot using unique technology in which a high-speed fan causes suction to keep it to walls. These remote-controlled robots can climb rough surfaces and obstacles such as wires and surface bolts taking a payload of 6kg and eradicating the need for scaffolding. Their target customers are decorating contractors, surveyors and building developers.
Having built a prototype and established a valuable market for their product, Jack Cornes, Managing Director of HausBots Ltd, needed to know if they were going to pass radiated emissions and RF immunity certifications, which can cost up to £1,000 per test, per day, regardless of whether they pass. They also had to work around the challenges faced by the Covid-19 pandemic, which meant a lot of test sites were limiting access.
The team at HausBots saw a member of the WMG SME Group presenting at an event and discovered that we had the equipment and expertise that would help them secure their certification status, getting their product to market quicker and more cheaply. Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, WMG were able to engage with HausBots remotely, then provide safe access to relevant equipment.
Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) certification is a legal requirement resulting in fines for non-compliance. These are tests to keep any radiated emissions from the robot from disturbing other equipment and to make sure the robot is not disturbed by any radio emissions from other equipment. If the certification is achieved then they can get the product to market. WMG provided HausBots access to our EMC Test Chamber to help in the development of the electronic prototyping to keep radiated emissions and RF immunity within a limit. This helped them gain confidence prior to paying for the real test.
Due to the high cost of accessing private EMC test chambers, they sought help under the WMG SME Group Digital Innovation for Manufacturing (DI4M) programme accelerating the development of their robot. The tests were particularly valuable in determining radiated emissions from the robot umbilical cable, which were resolved using filters. The umbilical carries the power, data and paint. A Schaffner filter was required to limit conducted emissions from the power supply. Due to our extensive knowledge of product development and safety certification, we were able to support HausBots through this process, transferring knowledge of EMC testing, CE marking, and declarations of conformity into the business.
- The project accelerated the development of the robot by enabling EMC issues to be designed out and removed during prototyping. This has brought the product to market faster than would have been possible without our support.
- The robots passed the pre-compliance testing.
- HausBots are currently pre-production and undertaking customer testing. Customers are able to book in demonstrations with HausBots.
- Overall, HausBots saved an estimated £5,500 and gained valuable knowledge and insights to take their now pre-compliance tested robots to market.
Jack Cornes, Managing Director of HausBots Ltd, commented: “The pandemic came at a pivotal time for us, so WMG’s support via virtual consultations and Covid-safe access to their testing facilities was invaluable. We’re pleased to be launching our HB1 product in a few months’ time, and without WMG’s help, we’d have struggled to get our technology out there so quickly. We’re confident there’s a huge market for the product, and we’re seeing a lot of interest already.”
Dave Norman, Innovation Manager at WMG, added: “These robots are so cool and unique. They can climb up surfaces vertically. It was a something developed in Harry’s garage and now it is a fully-fledged company. It’s great to work with such a dynamic and innovative SME who are helping improve workplace health and safety”.