Lionel the floor-marking robot makes UK debut at Event Tech Live

Sustainability /  / 
Alex Wyatt from August Robotics together with Lionel the robot and Natalie Sykes Sustainability Manager at ExCeL Alex Wyatt from August Robotics together with Lionel the robot and Natalie Sykes Sustainability Manager at ExCeL Photo Credit: ExCeL

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.”

James Lancaster
Written By
James Lancaster

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.

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