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November 7, 2014

Drone testing lab to be built at Imperial

Brahmal Vasudevan Aerial Robotics Lab expected to bridge the gap between robot testing and manufacturing.

By CBR Staff Writer

Imperial College London is planning to build a £1.25m drone testing lab in 2016.

Imperial alumnus Brahmal Vasudevan has funded the project, with Imperial choosing to name the facility the ‘Brahmal Vasudevan Aerial Robotics Lab.’

The Brahmal Vasudevan Aerial Robotics Lab will include a two storey laboratory, a workshop, an enclosed arena and teaching facilities for undergraduates and postgraduates.

The lab will be designed to test drones that can fly and dive into water; a technology which the college feels will be beneficial for rescue and search missions.

The flight arena will include sixteen high speed 3D aerial tracking cameras that are designed to control flight dynamics of the drones.

The lab is expected to bridge the gap between robot testing and manufacturing, as the workshop will be equipped with 3D printers and laser micromachining equipment that can be used to manufacture the robots.

Brahmal Vasudevan Aerial Robotics Lab director Dr Mirko Kovac said: "Aerial robotics has the potential to become an important industry in the UK, but we need world beating teaching and research infrastructure to make this a reality.

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"Thanks to the support of Mr Vasudevan we will now be able to construct an outstanding facility, which will enable the College to consolidate its position in this field and foster the next generation of engineers.

"Ultimately, we are aiming to develop flying robots that could improve the way companies do business, save lives and help to protect our environment."

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