ExCeL London leads the way in the future of sustainable events with first UK use of innovative robots

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Alex Wyatt from August Robotics together with Lionel the robot and Natalie Sykes, Sustainability Manager at ExCeL
  • ‘Lionel’ – the world’s most advanced floor marking robot – completes UK’s first real-world application for Event Tech Live 2022
  • Robots allow for faster, more accurate and efficient event space mark-up, leading to a range of business and sustainability benefits for industry
  • Technology expected to lead to significant reduction in single-use carpets
  • Venue set on long-term collaboration with August Robotics as part of wider sustainability commitment

Carbon neutral event venue ExCeL London has undertaken the UK’s first use of the world’s most advanced floor marking robots as part of its long-term strategy to help make the industry more sustainable. 

Innovative robot Lionel (so called because he marks out lines), was recently used on the mark-out of Event Tech Live 2022 – which the venue hosts – to showcase both the business and the sustainability benefits available, as well as ExCeL’s commitment to operational excellence. 

The Lionel robots can drastically reduce environmental impact by eliminating the need for single-use carpets and other consumable materials used for manual marking. Indeed, according to a recent report by SASIE, it is estimated that as much as six million tonnes of carpet are thrown away each year by the UK event industry.

Furthermore, as the robots are completely autonomous, event 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 Robots, the world leader in autonomous commercial robotic applications. The organisation supports dozens of exhibition centres worldwide and has marked more than one million square metres of exhibition space for large-scale events predominately in Germany and the USA. ExCeL will also be on the 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, 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.”

Located in the Royal Docks, ExCeL hosts around 400 events annually and welcomes some four million visitors. Earlier this year it became the first UK venue to be certified carbon neutral to the internationally recognised PAS 2060 status and has as an interim target for their journey to Net Zero. 

Adam Parry
Author: Adam Parry

Adam is the co-founder and editor of www.eventindustrynews.com Adam, a technology evangelist also organises Event Tech Live, Europe’s only show dedicated to event technology and the Event Technology Awards. Both events take place in November, London.

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