Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering


Cleaning our oceans with AI-powered robot microscopes

  • Posted by QEPrize Admin
  • 24 September 2018

image of a variety of plankton seen through IBM's autonomous microscope.
Plankton under IBM 3D microscope

Our oceans are dirty. AI-powered robot microscopes may save them.

In five years, small autonomous AI microscopes, networked in the cloud and deployed around the world, will continually monitor the condition of the natural resource most critical to our survival: water.

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GRAID moves closer to the pipeline front line

  • Posted by QEPrize Admin
  • 18 October 2017

With a bold new twin-chassis design, our ground-breaking GRAID robot is on track to transform the way National Grid inspects previously unreachable sections of its network. Project Lead David Hardman shares the latest as this innovative pipe dream gets closer to reality.

Human fascination with the power of machines has remained undimmed for decades. So it’s no surprise that our latest robotic innovation – Project GRAID – has been capturing the imagination of everyone from the national press to the gas industry, our customers and stakeholders.

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Driving Curiosity with Autonomous Systems

  • Posted by QEPrize Admin
  • 9 August 2017

Director of the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering, Keshini Navaratnam, is joined by two leading roboticists to discuss how autonomous systems can inspire future generations.

Alongside being an electrical engineer, Dr Ayanna Howard is an educator, researcher and innovator. Her work focuses on how humans and autonomous systems can work together and the ethics behind doing so. This research has allowed Ayanna to make significant contributions to artificial intelligence, computer vision and robotics.

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Plant-inspired robot creeps towards success

  • Posted by QEPrize Admin
  • 7 August 2017

Edging along fences and creeping up walls, climbing plants send out tendrils in search of the sunniest spots in the garden.

In the lab, researchers have replicated the movements of nature countless times. Robots can walk, run and jump. They have even learned how to swim. Now, a team of mechanical engineers from Stanford University have taken inspiration for their latest robot from climbing plants. Following the lead of creepers such as ivy, the soft robot shoots out a tendril to ‘grow’ itself forwards.

The concept behind the idea is very simple and uses a process called ‘eversion’. The robot itself is a tube of soft plastic, folded inside itself. (Think of those slippery ‘water snake’ toys from the 90s!). As pressurised air fills the tube, the folded material turns the right way out, propelling the tip forwards.

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Dynamic educational toys bring building blocks to life

  • Posted by QEPrize Admin
  • 16 February 2017

Brixo Kit

Who hasn’t played with building blocks when they were kids? There is no doubt that the castles, vehicles and miniature cities of our childhoods were the stuff of legend.

Yet games of this nature—those that enable you to design, construct and even problem-solve—are more than mere playthings. They stimulate motor skills and hand-eye coordination, they promote analytical thinking, and they encourage creativity through invention.

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Meet Dr Watson: IBM’s answer to the healthcare of tomorrow

  • Posted by QEPrize Admin
  • 18 November 2016


The team at UKGM, the hospital where Watson will be based

From drones that deliver essential medical supplies, to surgical robots so skilled they can remove cataracts from human eyes, machines in medicine are becoming the norm. As this year draws to a close, IBM’s Watson welcomes us into the ‘cognitive era of health’. Billed by its creators as a ‘new partnership between humanity and technology’, Watson is bringing artificial intelligence to the front line of healthcare.

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Drones to deliver drugs in remote Costa Rica

  • Posted by QEPrize Admin
  • 14 November 2016


Eight communities in remote towns of Costa Rica are set to receive drugs via pilotless aerial vehicles (drones) starting from 2017, thanks to a new programme implemented by the government’s public health authority.

The programme will link basic health centres in these remote communities with distribution points operated by the Costa Rican Social Security Fund (CCSS).

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Tackling tropical diseases the engineer’s way

  • Posted by QEPrize Admin
  • 10 November 2016

As brightly painted fishing boats putter across the lake and fishermen stand thigh deep in the glittering water hauling their catch, it’s hard to believe a deadly secret lurks beneath the surface.

Schistosomiasis, also called Bilharzia, is a parasitic disease carried by water-dwelling snails. To reproduce, larvae must leave the snails and swim across open water to find their next host: humans. Once inside a person, the larvae develop into adults and lay their eggs. Most pass straight through the body, back into water, where the life-cycle starts again. For the unlucky few, remaining eggs will get trapped in the body, often causing a deadly infection.

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