TECHNOLOGY that drives Mars rovers and robot cars can be adapted to transform our workplaces and lives, according to a new Oxford firm.

Oxbotica, a spin-out from Oxford University’s department of engineering science, will develop the software for use in driverless vehicles for warehouses.

The same technology is also being tested on self-steering pods in Milton Keynes, taking us a step closer to driverless cars.

Automotive engineering expert and Oxbotica chief executive, Dr Graeme Smith, said it is also ideal for anything that uses 3D mapping, such as surveying roads or buildings.

He said: “Setting up Oxbotica as a commercial venture gives us the ability to take university-level research and turn it into something that a corporate customer can use.

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“We will be industrialising some of the robotic technology and accelerating the programme.

“Oxford University is the world leader in some of this technology, so there will be applications for it anywhere in the world.”

Oxbotica was founded by Prof Ingmar Posner and Prof Paul Newman, of the Oxford Mobile Robotics Group.

Prof Posner said: “We believe that Oxford University’s robotics expertise can transform  a wide spectrum of application domains.

“Our intended markets range from devices that survey our roads, buildings and chemical plants to autonomous systems for warehouse logistics and, of course, autonomous driving.”

Prof Newman added: “Transport remains an important application for robotic technology but we are thinking bigger than any single application.

“In collaboration with partners, we can help to realise the Government’s vision of robotics as one of the UK’s eight great technologies.”

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