A robot called Lionel that marks out exhibition space and eliminates
the need for single-use carpet was used in the UK for the first time, clearing the
wave for more sustainable events.
The autonomous four-wheeled device - about the size of a medium-sized
dog - was used to make floor markings at Event Tech Live 2022, held at ExCeL
London, last week.
The Lionel robots can significantly reduce the environmental
impact of events by eliminating the need for carpets and other materials used
for manual marking.
It has been estimated that up to six million tonnes of
carpet are thrown away each year by the UK event industry. Furthermore, organisers
no longer need to hire specialist international marking contractors, saving
tens of thousands of hours per year of travel time and transport emissions.
The robots were supplied to the venue by August Robotics, which
works for dozens opf exhibition centres worldwide and has marked more than one
million square metres of exhibition space.
ExCeL will also be one of the first venues globally to lease
and operate their own Lionel robots, as previously they were only offered as
part of a floor marking service.
Natalie Sykes, ExCeL’s sustainability manager, said: “As a
carbon neutral venue, sustainability is at the forefront of our agenda, and we
are always looking for innovative new ways to help reduce our emissions and
waste. As such, we’re delighted to be working with August Robotics to automate
future floor marking operations and we’re delighted to have already undertaken
the first UK application. From an operational perspective, this technology
yields considerable cost savings, rapid build times for our clients and the
elimination of costly mistakes and rework time.”
Alex Wyatt, CEO of August Robotics, said: “We are absolutely
delighted to have ExCeL London as one of Lionel’s first lease clients. ExCeL
are leaders in innovation and we’re proud to partner with them to advance a
sustainable exhibition future with our technology. Our team has made tremendous
strides to make the robots simple to use; we’re excited for ExCeL to enjoy all
the advantages of autonomous floor marking.”
AMI editor James
Lancaster is a familiar face in the meetings industry and international
association community. Since joining AMI in 2010, he has gained a reputation
for asking difficult questions and getting lost in convention centres. Proofer, podcaster, and panellist - in his spare time, James likes to walk,
read, listen to music, and drink beer.