Q-Bot wins Queen’s Award for Innovation 2020
The remote-controlled insulation helper has been honoured with a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the Innovation category.
Mathew Holloway, Q-Bot’s CEO and co-founder explains: “Q-Bot was founded 8 years ago following a particularly arduous retrofit project. Whilst fitting insulation, and being squeezed between the joists, we thought there must be a better way and so the idea for Q-Bot was born – if we could use a robot to get into tight spaces and apply insulation, we would not have to rip the house apart, or squeeze in ourselves.
“In developing our solution, we had to solve two further challenges: what is the right solution for each property; and, how to measure quality if no one can see the work. As a result, we now supply contractors with a range of tools that make it easier to retrofit homes: that identify the needs of each property; apply materials in hard to reach areas; automate repetitive tasks; and, track the work done.
“This makes workers safer and more accountable. Q-Bot’s approach for insulating suspended floors is also the only solution, traditional or otherwise, to be fully accredited.”
Q-Bot is proud to receive such a prestigious accolade and be recognised for business excellence, innovative thinking and cutting-edge technology alongside the esteemed range of past and present winners. Q-Bot will be celebrating receiving the award at a royal reception for winners later this year.
Now in its 54th year, the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise represent the UK’s most prestigious recognition for businesses. Winners of this category also need to demonstrate commercial success as a result of innovation, and an award recipient is entitled to use the Queen’s Awards emblem for five years.
More than eight million homes in the UK have suspended timber floors and few have been insulated. These homes tend to be some of the worst performing, with low EPC scores, a high prevalence of fuel poverty, and few practical or cost-effective options to upgrade them. Insulating a suspended floor is typically expensive and disruptive, requiring you to remove the floor and fit insulation between uneven joists, before putting everything back together again.
To address this challenge, Q-Bot has developed a robot that can fit into the space beneath a suspended floor, survey the area, creating a 3D record, check the condition of services, spray insulation onto the underside of the floor, measure the area and depth of insultation to verify the job done. The insulation immediately reduces the heat lost through the floor and stops draughts. As a result, the house is warmer, more energy efficient and much cheaper to heat. The install can be completed in just a few hours and without disturbing those living in the property.
This will have a significant impact on fuel poverty by reducing energy bills by an average of £125/yr (Energy Savings Trust, 2020) while reducing the risk of damp and mould, making the home healthier too.
If Q-Bot’s innovation is deployed to insulate all suitable homes in the country, the resulting CO2 savings will be over five million tonnes a year – equivalent to shutting down two power stations or planting 30 million trees. With many more homes exhibiting this problem across Europe and further afield Q-Bot has a huge potential to have a positive impact on both the environment and society.
“Q-Bot has surveyed and installed 1,000s of properties in the UK, but there is a huge potential across millions more both in the UK and further afield. We have always been driven by seeing the impact of our efforts: creating jobs; reducing carbon emissions; making homes warmer and healthier. This is why we are so pleased our achievements have been recognised with the Queen’s Award for Enterprise. The recognition will really help us scale, have the widest possible impact and ensure the company fulfils this potential.” Mathew Holloway, CEO and cofounder, Q-Bot.
Q-Bot was supported by the Royal Commission for the Exhibition for 1851 and Mathew Holloway, Q-Bot’s CEO, was awarded an Industrial Fellowship in 2014. This award fostered links with Imperial College London and the Dyson School of Design Engineering supporting the development of the technology. Q-Bot has been supported by several organisations including BEIS, Innovate UK, EMV Capital, ClearlySo, WealthClub, Foundamental and Saint Gobain.