Imperial College London


Faculty of EngineeringDyson School of Design Engineering

Head of the School of Design Engineering



+44 (0)20 7594 7049p.childs Website CV




Studio 1, Dyson BuildingDyson BuildingSouth Kensington Campus





Publication Type

205 results found

Baxter W, Aurisicchio M, Childs PRN, 2017, Contaminated interaction: another barrier to circular material flows, Journal of Industrial Ecology, Vol: 21, Pages: 507-516, ISSN: 1530-9290

Contamination poses a significant problem to the circular economy (CE), which derives much of its value from maintaining pure material flows. The aim of this article is to frame contaminated interaction among other forms of contamination and investigate its effects on the CE. The research is based on a review of the contamination literature and case studies. We differentiate between three types of contamination influencing circular material flows: technical, which deals with fitness for use; systemic, which deals with efficiency in processing; and interaction, which deals with user-object interaction and decision making. Our focus is on developing a foundational understanding of contaminated interaction and how it influences circular processes. Through multiple examples, contaminated interaction is shown to create three barriers to the CE: downcycling, disposal, and hindered circulation. Among other proposals to address contaminated interaction, the research calls for the development of experientially transferrable design—products that can move between users and uses without negative consequences.

Journal article

Ramos Cabal A, Guarracino I, Mellor A, Alonso Álvarez D, Childs P, Ekins Daukes N, Markides CNet al., 2017, Solar-Thermal and Hybrid Photovoltaic-Thermal Systems for Renewable Heating, Publisher: Grantham Institute, Imperial College London

Headlines Heat constitutes about half of total global energy demand. Solar heat offers key advantages over other renewable sources for meeting this demand through distributed, integrated systems. Solar heat is a mature sustainable energy technology capable of mass deployment. There is significant scope for increasing the installed solar heat capacity in Europe. Only a few European countries are close to reaching the EU target of 1 m2 of solar-thermal installations per person. One key challenge for the further development of the solar-thermal market arises from issues related to the intermittency of the solar resource, and the requirement for storage and/or backup systems. The former increases investment costs and limits adaptability. An analysis of EU countries with good market development, suggests that obligation schemes are the best policy option for maximising installations. These do not present a direct cost to the public budget, and determine the growth of the local industry in the long term. Solar-thermal collectors can be combined with photovoltaic (PV) modules to produce hybrid PV-thermal (PV-T) collectors. These can deliver both heat and electricity simultaneously from the same installed area and at a higher overall efficiency compared to individual solar-thermal and PV panels installed separately. Hybrid PV-T technology provides a particularly promising solution when roof space is limited or when heat and electricity are required at the same time.


Brand A, Childs P, 2017, Gizmo - Arcadia, Theatre, Creatures and Orchestra, Engineering and Product Design Education

Gadgets enthral and delight. We are surrounded by the outcome of centuries of invention and associated refinements of machines enabling our lives. Many of these rely in their formation on prior technology and knowledge. It is this prior knowledge that provides a stepping point and foundation for design and realisation of a gadget. This paper reports the long-standing ‘gizmo’ module that has been run on multiple occasions and in various formats each year at Imperial College London and the Royal College of Art. The module provides a foundation in mechatronics, coding and machine design to serve as building blocks for students’ self-generated ideas and prototypes for their gizmos. Exposure to a wide range of sample parts, coding sessions, practical build and integration of circuits and actuators has been found, in combination with a culture of adventure and freedom from a prescriptive brief, to result in significant and accelerated learning for students of diverse backgrounds. The module’s characteristics include a culture of adventure and ambitious builds, intensive activity, serendipity and celebration of failure and success.

Conference paper

Baxter W, Aurisicchio M, Mugge R, Childs PRNet al., Positive and negative contamination in user interactions, ICED17: 21st International Conference on Engineering Design, Publisher: Design Society

The purpose of this paper is to present contaminated interaction as a design construct. Interactions with an object can be altered,positively, neutrallyor negatively,due to some prior use. In such cases, the interaction departs from the designed condition and is said to be contaminated. This is particularly significant as objects, physical or non-physical, have multiple uses or are shared amongst users. We propose an ontological model of contaminated interaction based on a review of literature and an analysis of user experiences. The model outlines the process of contaminated interaction including the drivers and outcomes. In a negative context, contamination can lead to consumers misusing, negatively experiencing, or avoiding the object altogether. Positive contamination sees the opposite effect in which usability can increase, users report more positive experiences and users seek out or cherish the object. Together, this model presents an approach to understanding and addressing contamination in the design process to enable the creation and maintenance of meaningful experiences.

Conference paper

Baxter WL, childs PRN, 2017, Designing Circular Possessions, The Routledge Handbook of Sustainable Product Design, Editors: Chapman

The notion of possession is one of the most fundamental concepts that guide everyday behaviour. Paradoxically, it is often poorly understood. This is particularly true in a circular context where consumer interactions with possessions are being altered and in some cases redefined. Thus, an understanding of possession serves as a useful, if not necessary, prerequisite to designing circular products, services and systems. This chapter explores the idea of possession: what it is, how an object becomes one and why it is important for the circular economy. Possession is understood through a human-centred lens that considers the consumer’s state of mind towards and relationship with an object. A state of possessiveness can be attained for material or immaterial objects and for objects that may or may not legally belong to the person. The discussion is presented within a design framework that discusses the motives and routes that lead to the state of possession. This framework is substantiated by looking at affordance principles and paths associated with possession. Each section includes a theoretical discussion as well as practical examples and insights that can be incorporated into the product design process itself. This chapter aids in understanding interactions relevant to the circular economy such as the maintenance and care that comes with object attachment and adoption of access-based consumption models. Understanding and designing for these desired interactions should be the first priority of designers followed by an establishment of laws, regulations and policies to support them.

Book chapter

Childs PRN, Li W, Zhang J, Mi P, Zhao J, Tao Z, Shih Tet al., 2017, The effect of gravity on R410A condensing flow in horizontal circular tubes, Numerical Heat Transfer Part A: Applications, Vol: 70, Pages: 327-340, ISSN: 1040-7782

Heat transfer characteristics of R410A condensation in horizontal tubes with the inner diameter of 3.78 mm under normal and reduced gravity are investigated numerically. The results indicate that the heat transfer coefficients increase with increasing gravitational accelerations at a lower mass flux, whereas their differences under varying gravity are insignificant at a higher mass flux. The liquid film thickness decreases with increasing gravity at the top part of the tube, whereas the average liquid film thickness is nearly the same under different gravity accelerations at the same vapor quality and mass flux. The local heat transfer coefficients increase with increasing gravity at the top of the tube and decrease with increasing gravity at the bottom. The proportion of the thin liquid film region is important for the overall heat transfer coefficients for the condensing flow. A vortex with its core lying at the bottom of the tube is observed under normal gravity because of the combined effect of gravity and the mass sink at the liquid–vapor interface, whereas the stream traces point to the liquid–vapor interfaces under zero gravity. The mass transfer rate under zero gravity is much lower than that of normal gravity.

Journal article

Michalakoudis I, Childs P, Harding J, 2017, Using functional analysis diagrams for production cost optimization, IEEE International Conference on Advanced Materials for Science and Engineering IEEE-ICAMSE 2016, Publisher: IEEE

This paper presents a methodology combining Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA) and Value Engineering (VE), assisted by a set of hierarchical Functional Analysis Diagram (FAD) models, and its pilot introduction in a UK-based manufacturing Small Medium Enterprise (SME). The proposed methodology suggests the parallel execution of both processes, using a combination of FAD models and the FMEA tabular tool to yield results for both FMEA and VE. The resulting Risk Priority Number (RPN) is used to identify and prioritize not only the high-risk components requiring improvements (highest RPN values), but also the potentially superfluous components (lowest RPN values)

Conference paper

Michalakoudis I, Childs P, Aurisicchio M, Harding Jet al., 2016, Using functional analysis diagrams to improve product reliability and cost, Advances in Mechanical Engineering, Vol: 9, Pages: 1-11, ISSN: 1687-8140

Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA) and Value Engineering (VE) are well-established methods in the manufacturing industry, commonly applied to optimize product reliability and cost respectively. Both processes, however, require cross-functional teams to identify and evaluate the product/process functions and are resource-intensive, hence their application is mostly limited to large organizations. In this paper, we present a methodology involving the concurrent execution of FMEA and VE, assisted by a set of hierarchical Functional Analysis Diagram (FAD) models, along with the outcomes of a pilot application in a UK-based manufacturing Small-Medium Enterprise (SME). Analysis of the results indicate that this new approach could significantly enhance the resource efficiency and effectiveness of both FMEA and VE processes.

Journal article

Childs PRN, Michalakoudis I, Harding J, Using functional analysis diagrams for production cost optimization, IEEE-ICAMSE 2016

This paper presents a methodology combining Failure Modeand Effects Analysis (FMEA) and Value Engineering (VE),assisted by a set of hierarchical Functional Analysis Diagram(FAD) models, and its pilot introduction in a UK-basedmanufacturing Small Medium Enterprise (SME). Theproposed methodology suggests the parallel execution of bothprocesses, using a combination of FAD models and the FMEAtabular tool to yield results for both FMEA and VE. Theresulting Risk Priority Number (RPN) is used to identify andprioritize not only the high-risk components requiringimprovements (highest RPN values), but also the potentiallysuperfluous components (lowest RPN values) that could besafely downgraded to reduce unnecessary costs.

Conference paper

Southgate DFL, Childs PRN, Bull AMJ, 2016, Introduction, ISBN: 9781786340429


Hua M, Huang S, Childs P, 2016, From linear to systemic: an integrated design solution for sustainable household consumption in Iceland, 12th Biennial NordDesign Conference on Highlighting the Nordic Approach, Publisher: Design Society, Pages: 186-195

Sustainable consumption patterns are one of the key driving forces to achieve sustainabledevelopment. However, studies in design research tend to draw on the existing system ofproduction and consumption with its inherent linear processes, which are often wasteful andpolluting. Here we report on a project for a Nordic family in Iceland which had the dual aimsof introducing a new holistic research method into the consumption research sector andinvestigating ways to optimize the family’s use of resources from a Systemic Design (SD)perspective. Using SD theory, we redesigned the material and energy flows run in the house andoptimized the relationships between its system elements. These programmed changes improvedthe efficiency of the current system and provided opportunities for subsequent designinnovation.

Conference paper

Grønneberg I, Childs P, 2016, Organizational principles oriented to maximize innovative ideas of blue-collar employees in manufacturing, NordDesign 2016, Publisher: Design Society, Pages: 288-297

This paper is focused on the blue-collar workforce, or more simply operators, as the central aspect of the manufacturing processes to produce manufacturing environments that can decrease routine-based operations. As a result, manufacturing operations can become again an attractive area to consider for creative organizations. The framework, comprising an organised culture of setting challenges, organisation of their resolution and up-skilling to enable competences, is based on a theoretical analysis of the work conditions for operators using a technical, sociological and psychological approach and evaluating different barriers for innovation.We illustrate this analysis using a case study in a small assembly company (SME) in which a new organizational structure was simulated to maximize intrinsic motivation and the working environment in the blue-collar workforce.

Conference paper

Childs PRN, Holloway M, Julia M, Folding mechanism for a remotely deployable robotic vehicle, International Symposium on Robotics

An innovative design for a folding robotic vehicle is presented that can deploy through small openings into crawl spaces and underfloor voids to survey and carry out operations within them. The mechanism employs a four bar linkage, enabling the axles to be extended away from the chassis and the axle to be deployed in line with the chassis, thus producing an elongated but small cross sectional area. In its low cross-sectional area form the device can be fed in through a small opening and once in position, the axles can be rotated into their functional position and locked in place. To remove the robot the mechanism works in reverse, with the axle is unlocked and rotated in line with the chassis This transformation is a key enabler for deployment and practical applications of this type of robot. The mechanism has been commercially developed and used for both survey and applying treatments in a wide range of building applications, although other uses are possible. This paper describes the practical aspects of the mechanism as an enabler for the transformation of a robot chassis for accessing confined spaces.

Conference paper

Childs PRN, Julia M, Holloway M, Reinoso Oet al., Autonomous Surveying of Underfloor Voids, 47th International Symposium on Robotics

In this paper, a novel robotic system that solves the problem of autonomous mapping an underfloor void is presented. The approach is based on a 3D laser scanner. A real time navigation system and a new high level planner that selects the next best scanning position controls the motion of the robot. Multiple scans are aligned using ICP and graph optimization techniques. Finally, a point cloud fusion algorithm creates a global model of the environment from the aligned scans. The survey robot has been successfully deployed in a commercial application for scanning underfloor voids before and after the application of thermal insulation. Using this system, the robot was successfully able to autonomously map the controlled test scenario. For some applications the quantity of rubble within the void caused the real time navigation to fail and teleoperation and manual initialization of the ICP algorithm was necessary.

Conference paper

Childs PRN, Holloway M, Julia M, A robot for spray applied insulation in underfloor voids, 47th International Symposium on Robotics

This paper focuses on the application of robotics in a new field for applying surface treatments in building voids and thedevelopment of the architecture of the robotic vehicle for use in this application. The nature of the application means thatthe robotic vehicle must be capable of accessing voids through small openings and this has led to a deployable architecturefor the vehicle which can be fed through an opening and then reconfigures its form to enable practical operation. A typicalapplication for the robot is to apply thermal insulation to the underside of wooden or concrete floors in buildings. Theterrain is varied ranging from sand to impacted dusty hard core, can be strewn with builders’ debris such as bricks andtimber, and is interspersed with retainer walls that support the floor above. Within this environment the robot needs to beable to navigate and deploy a spray applied insulation fed by a hose assembly. This paper describes the robot architectureand its development with particular focus on deployable features enabling access to confined spaces, the traction systemused to negotiate diverse surfaces while pulling the umbilical hose assembly, the sensor array and how it is used to controlthe spray patterns. The resulting robots have been commercially developed, and are successfully spraying thermal insulationin a wide range of building applications.

Conference paper

Shi F, Han J, Childs P, 2016, A DATA MINING APPROACH TO ASSIST DESIGN KNOWLEDGE RETRIEVAL BASED ON KEYWORD ASSOCIATIONS, International Design Conference, Publisher: Design Conference, Pages: 1125-1134, ISSN: 1847-9073

Conference paper

Han J, Shi F, Childs P, 2016, THE COMBINATOR: A COMPUTER-BASED TOOLFOR IDEA GENERATION, 14TH INTERNATIONAL DESIGN CONFERENCE, Publisher: Design Conference, Pages: 639-648, ISSN: 1847-9073

Idea generation is important in design, but coming up with new and creative ideas is often challenging. The paper presents a computer-based tool named the Combinator for assisting designers to generate creative ideas. The tool is capable to generate combinational ideas based on combinational creativity theory. The Combinator has been indicated to be beneficial in helping designers generate useful and creative ideas through a case study. The result indicates that the Combinator can increase better ideas occurrence, improve design success rate, expand design space, and enhance design space exploration.

Conference paper

Baxter W, Yang, Aurisicchio, Childset al., Exploring a human-centred design of possessions, NordDesign 2016

Understanding the idea of possession is essential for creating successful products and services, particularly in digital and access contexts. This paper examines current shortcomings in conceptualising ownership and possessions before presenting a framework for the process of developing user possession. The framework is grounded in psychological ownership theory and informed by interviews with thirteen participants. The theory considers ownership as a mental state in which users feel the object is theirs. The interviews explored this mental state underthree contexts: traditional material possession, digital possession, and access-based possession. This work helps inform the meaning of possessions, and can aid designers and policy makers in how to approach the notion of designing possessions from a human-centered viewpoint.

Conference paper

Baxter W, Aurisicchio M, Childs PRN, Tear Here: the Impact of Object Transformations on Proper Disposal, IAPRI 20th World Conference on Packaging

Efforts promoting proper disposal of packaging generally focus on infrastructure and messaging. Significantly less attention has been given to how the attributes of packaging can be used to change disposal behaviour. This research shows how changes in packaging attributes (e.g. alterations in shape, colour, or size) influence two disposal behaviours: recycling and littering. Specifically, we use an implicit association test to measure the subconscious tendency to categorize altered objects as trash rather than recycling. The results indicate that 82% or respondents showed at least a slight effect and 53% showed a strong effect towards associating altered objects with waste. Next, we evaluate object transformations on littering behaviour through an observational field study. Observations (N = 2823) indicated that littering is influenced by deformed, torn, disassembled, and partially full packaging. No significant effect was found with regard to packaging that is wet, sticky, has undergone colour changes or that is has remains (e.g. sauce) on it. These findings suggest that the (re)design of packaging can significantly influence proper disposal. Based on this, packaging can be (re)designed in two ways. First, many types of packaging have scripted alterations such as the iconic ‘tear here’ indicator. These can be changed to preserve properties associated with recyclables and non-littering. Second, packaging can be designed so that there are fewer alterations during use. This work can also help identify inherent attributes that encourage proper disposal.

Conference paper


Conference paper

Childs PRN, 2016, Nanoscale Thermometry and Temperature Measurement, RSC Nanoscience and Nanotechnology No. 38, Thermometry at the Nanoscale: Techniques and Selected Applications., Editors: Carlos, Palacio, Publisher: Royal Society of Chemistry, Pages: 3-22, ISBN: 9781849739047

Nanoscale temperature measurement concerns the determination of temperature or temperature difference at the sub-micron scale. Applications where it is important to be able to measure local temperature at the nanoscale include microelectronics, optics, microfluidics, chemical reaction and biochemical processes, such as living cells and nano-medicine.

Book chapter

Southgate DFL, Childs PRN, Bull AMJ, 2016, Sports Innovation, Technology and Research, Publisher: World Scientific, ISBN: 9781786340412

Sports Innovation, Technology and Research gives an insight into recent research and design projects at Imperial College London. It presents the on-going development of a diverse range of areas from elite rowing performance to impact protection to sporting amenities in communities.Also included are descriptions of some of the latest innovations that have been developed as part of the Rio Tinto Sports Innovation Challenge, an initiative that tasked engineering students to design, build and implement Paralympic and other sporting equipment. It offers a glimpse at the breadth of creativity that can be achieved when human centred design is applied to an area such as disabled sport. It also shows the potential that design and engineering have to contribute to healthy lifestyles and the generation of whole new sporting domains.


Yan Y, Childs P, 2015, Creativity tool selection for design engineers in idea generation, International Conference on Engineering Design 2015 (ICED 2015), Pages: 359-370, ISSN: 2226-8790

The aim of this study is to investigate the utility of a framework of selecting suitable creativity tools for designers according to personality attributes and design application. Five intuitive feeling (NF) design engineers who share similar if not identical personality type, were observed while using lateral thinking, which is suggested as one of the suitable creativity tools based on this framework, to produce ideas for a design task. The aim of this study is to understand the creative process that designers go through when using lateral thinking, and the perceived utility of this creativity tool in ideation by this personality group. The analysis of the ideation process revealed creative thinking is an intuitive and associative process where intuition and imagination are frequently employed by the intuitive feeling designers to construct the problem, trigger ideas or illustrate ideas. The subjects’ positive evaluations towards the use of lateral thinking in ideation supported its utility, but factors such as ease of use and previous experience in using creativity tools should be taken into account when applying the framework.

Conference paper

Childs PRN, pennington M, 2015, Industrial, and innovation design engineering, Impact of Design Research on Industrial Practice Tools, Technology, and Training, Editors: Chakrabarti, Lindemann, Publisher: Springer, Pages: 133-149, ISBN: 9783319194493

The Innovation Design Engineering (IDE) double masters programme, run jointly by the Royal College of Art and Imperial College London is now in its 34th year. Originally called Industrial Design Engineering the aim of the pro-gramme was to provide an educational pathway for taking graduate engineers and produce a new type of industrial designer. The two-year full-time programme in-volves a series of themed but student-directed projects in the first year, prior to major group and solo projects in the second year. This chapter introduces the orig-inal purpose of the programme, documents some of the transitions as well as providing a description of the current format of the programme, with a particular focus on addressing the needs of industry and those of individual students and graduates, and the sometime tensions between these. The Innovation Design Engi-neering is characterised by a ‘borrowed discourse’ with no distinct disciplinary language owned by the community at the moment. This is manifest in the exten-sive engagement by the students in their collaborations across the Departments and Research Centres at Imperial and their willingness to explore diverse innova-tion spaces. Traditionally graduates have gained subsequent employment in corpo-rations and design consultancies. The last five years has seen a significant shift with the greater proportion of graduates setting up their own businesses and con-sultancies on completion of the programme.

Book chapter

Baxter W, Childs PRN, Aurisicchio M, 2015, Using psychological ownership to guide strategies for slower consumption, Product Lifetimes And The Environment (PLATE), Publisher: Nottingham Trent University

Conference paper

Baxter WL, Aurisicchio M, Childs PRN, 2015, A psychological ownership approach to designing object attachment, Journal of Engineering Design, Vol: 26, Pages: 140-156, ISSN: 0954-4828

The mental state in which an individual claims an object as theirs is called psychological ownership. Psychological ownership is associated with motives, routes, affordances, and outcomes directly linked to attachment. This research introduces psychological ownership in the context of designing object attachment and identifies affordance principles that help facilitate it. A framework presenting the motives for and routes to psychological ownership is proposed to provide a holistic understanding of object attachment. In the framework each route to psychological ownership, that is, control, intimate knowledge, and self-investment, has a corresponding class of affordances. Overall a total of 16 affordance principles are identified through contextual inquiry with 4 objects (a car, a mobile phone, a pair of shoes, and a park bench). Previous studies have identified various elements of this framework but have fallen short of clearly defining and relating the motives, routes, and affordances to psychological ownership identified here. These affordance principles are readily mapped to experience design models and provide a practical resource for designers. Together, the framework and the affordances inform design decisions and move towards a prescriptive design method for facilitating object attachment.

Journal article

Baxter WL, Aurisicchio M, Childs PRN, 2015, Materials, use and contaminated interaction, Materials & Design, Vol: 90, Pages: 1218-1227, ISSN: 0261-3069

Materials help communicate meaning to users. This meaning changes with time as the object transforms due to use. Through a two-phase study, this research develops new understanding of how people appraise used objects and the mechanisms driving contamination—the aversion that one has towards engaging with used objects. In the first phase, observations of indicators of use were collected from participants in order to develop a general typology for indicators of use and deduce the sensorial properties of used objects. In the second phase, these observations were analysed to isolate the data, which caused feelings of aversion. The subset of observations marked with aversion was labelled as contaminated. Further analysis revealed three mechanisms driving contamination—hygiene, utility, and territory—presented together as the HUT contamination model. Sensorial properties from the first study were mapped to contamination mechanisms and properties most frequently contributing to contamination were identified. The properties contributing to the various contamination mechanisms differ significantly. Hygienic contamination typically results from transient object states, utility contamination from permanent changes to object characteristics, and territorial contamination from object settings and contextual factors. As expected, the majority of the indicators contributing to contamination are related to material properties. This work acts as a link between material selection and contaminated interaction with used objects.

Journal article

Michalakoudis I, Childs P, Aurisiccio M, Pollpeter N, Sambell Net al., 2015, Using Functional Analysis Diagrams as a Design Tool, ASME 2014 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition

This paper presents the process and outcomes of the pilot introduction of Functional Analysis Diagram (FAD) as a design assist tool within a Small Medium Enterprise (SME). During this study, two sets of Process Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (PFMEA) sessions were conducted using the traditional and the proposed, FAD assisted (FMEA-FAD) method developed, aiming to optimize the failure mode selection phase of the process. The results have shown that the FMEA-FAD method has significantly improved the efficiency and the effectiveness of the process. They were also consistent with previous research, suggesting that FAD is relatively easy to use, supports high levels of understanding through functional decomposition, and can be used as an interdisciplinary communication platform (Aurisicchio et al., 2011). Given the resource limitations in SMEs, such an efficiency improvement could be vital for a resource intensive process such as FMEA.FAD discourages disciplinary terminologies in function descriptions; instead, the functions can be represented simply by the combination of an active verb and a measurable noun. Breaking the system down into lower level subsystems and studying the functional interrelationships between system components, can help us understand the overall system functions (Pahl et al., 1996). As market needs are mostly determined based on past user experience (Norman, 2010), innovation commonly occurs incrementally. Although this practice reduces risks — being, as it is, based on already tested platforms, incremental innovation often leads to the retention of superfluous components and outdated technologies. The process of functional modeling prompts the users to question the existence of every component and feature within a product or process, potentially leading to a radical reassessment of a design against the need which created it.

Conference paper

Childs PRN, Garvey B, 2015, Using morphological analysis to tackle uncertainty at the design phase for a safety critical application, PROPULSION AND POWER RESEARCH, Vol: 4, Pages: 1-8, ISSN: 2212-540X

Journal article

Childs PRN, Linpinski TB, Holloway M, 2014, Robot for spraying insulation, GB2514405 (A)

A robot 1 for spraying insulation (such as polyurethane), comprising an elongate chassis 3 carrying a spray nozzle 4, a source 16 of spray thermal insulation foam coupled to the nozzle, and at least one wheel 2 mounted on the chassis arranged to drive the robot over a surface on which it is located. There may be a bearing surface 7 in the form of a hemisphere which is dragged over the surface over which the robot moves. The foam source may be a supply pipe and there may also be wires 15 to provide power to the robot. The robot is particularly suited for working in an underfloor cavity. Also claimed is a method of using such a robot.


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