Application areas within Robotics Engineering And Computing for Healthcare (REACH)

REACH is a multidisciplinary group, and our research covers the design, development, and evaluation of:

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. Moreover, 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 focus groups, user experience evaluations, and feasibility studies that will inform and validate the carried-on research. 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
  • evidence-based research and innovation that will lead to state-of-the-art technology applications in the healthcare domain based on real needs and careful evaluation systems. 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, developing new programmes and modules in consultation with care providers, health technology developers, regulatory bodies and advocacy groups.

Autonomous robots for physical assistance

We work towards the development of autonomous robotic platforms that promote independent living by assisting in the accomplishment of daily-live tasks. We focus on several technical challenges such as adaptive control, grasping, navigation, etc; and also, non-technical aspects such as user-experience and usability.

Socially assistive robots

The objective of this area of application is the use of social interaction to enhance quality of live. We focus on promoting exercise, reducing isolation, and enabling learning for people with different challenges.


Mobility assistive robots

This area of application focuses on the development of technologies that facilitate mobility. As such, it encompasses the development of robotic prosthesis, exoskeletons, and smart mobility devices such as intelligent canes and tensorized walkers. 


Smart sensing and IoT for healthcare

Research into novel sensing approaches for the assessment, monitoring, and treatment of movement disorders, cognitive impairment, and mental health. Our objective is to support improved treatment and quality of life through novel AI and data analytics, with a focus on human movement and neurophysiology.


  • FitBees– Facilitating physical activity and exercises in people aged over 55 years
  • CHARMED-MS - Objective Characterisation of Movement Disorders to Identify People with MS Likely to Benefit from Deep Brain Stimulation
  • MoDA-VR – Movement Disorders Assessment in Virtual Reality
  • PoseCalib: Automated extrinsic calibration of a markerless 3D human motion capture system
  • POEM – Pulse Oximetry from the Eardrum
  • Supportive Surveillance? Co-design of automated timely interventions to enhance treatment of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • TEETACSI (Tracking Expert Eyes to Train AI for Clinical Signal Interpretation)


External collaborators

  • Dr Luke Canham (Consultant Neurophysiologist, North Bristol NHS Trust)
  • Dr Konrad Szewczyk-Krolikowski (Consultant Neurologist, North Bristol NHS Trust)
  • Angela Davies-Smith (Clinical Specialist Research Physiotherapist, North Bristol NHS Trust)
  • Dr Faith Martin (Associate Professor in Psychology, Coventry University)

Robotics Engineering And Computing for Healthcare

We research robotics technologies, intelligent sensors and machine learning to realise person-focused innovative healthcare solutions.

Research centres and groups

Browse UWE Bristol's portfolio of research areas, expertise, staff and publications.

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