Q-Bot has won the 2018 Ashden Award for UK sustainable buildings following its innovative use of robots to insulate suspended floors.
When insulating a house, treating cavity walls and lofts are relatively easy. For properties with suspended floors, a quarter of the heat loss can be through the floor. Traditional methods of insulating suspended floors usually involve removing the floorboards to fit insulation between the joists, which takes at least a week and still leaves draughts due to gaps around the insulation boards.
Q-Bot has solved this problem through robotics. The company has developed a robot that can be inserted into the under-floor void through a small hole in the floorboards or through an exterior wall. The robot carries out a detailed survey and then insulates the suspended floors from below with quick-setting expanding foam insulation. Q-Bot robots use cameras and lasers to create a 3-D map of the underfloor area, which verifies that the installation has been successful.
Q-Bot has already worked with housing providers in Islington, Camden and Newcastle and plans to expand this work across the UK. Its approach is to train housing providers’ own staff or their maintenance contractors to insulate homes themselves using the Q-Bot robots.
Q-Bot robots have insulated 265 homes so far; the company has a goal of insulating 1,000 homes by the end of March 2019.