About Robotics Engineering And Computing for Healthcare (REACH)
Our objectives, collaborations and history
We have been working in the area of assistive robotics since 2009 and the REACH group was formalised in 2016 and, since then, has developed rapidly in terms of size, experience, and reputation.
We are a multidisciplinary group and our research covers the design, development and evaluation of socially and physically assistive robots, rehabilitation robotics and smart prosthetics, smart home and wearable sensors, as well as apps for health and well-being.
Underpinning these systems, our research covers the foundational areas of machine learning and AI, data fusion, human-robot interaction, machine vision, safety and ethics.
We have on-site facilities for research and development of innovative person-centred assistive technologies within two “Living Lab” testing environments, as well as partnerships with local hospital and residential care providers.
To realise the “Living Lab” approach in pursuing research on the design, development of assistive robotics that can be deployed in care scenarios and people’s homes, we work as part of multi-disciplinary teams of engineers, psychologists and health care experts and end-users. This provides our researchers the opportunity to validate concepts and trial users’ actual experience of technology and impact on care pathways and roles. One of the studios is a certified European Robotics League testbed for service robotics benchmarking, evaluating realistic healthcare scenarios, and envisioning future concepts.
We have extensive experience of engaging with a wide range of stakeholders, both as part of creative co-design and public engagement activities, as well as eliciting and defining user requirements and evaluation metrics for testing assistive technologies.
Our objective is to be an internationally recognised centre of excellence in fundamental and applied healthcare technology research. We will achieve this by collaborating with health and social care partners and end-users to conduct evidence-based research and innovation that will lead to improved quality of life, health and wellbeing.
We are designing solutions that will fit into existing health and social care models and inform future technology-enabled care using a diverse range of participatory and inclusive design approaches
We are also passionate about research-informed teaching. As part of this, we are addressing the learning needs of the care workforce of the future, by developing new programmes and modules in consultation with care providers, health technology developers, regulatory bodies and advocacy groups.
We have a network of collaborative academic and industrial national and international partnerships:
Our health and social care partners
- ExtraCare Charitable Trust
- Milestones Trust
- NBT (North Bristol NHS Trust) - watch the NBT-UWE Bristol partnership video
- Skills for Care UK
- British Red Cross
- EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council)
- AHRC (Arts and Humanities Research Council)
- Innovate UK
- Anchor Society
- Above and Beyond