The Heriot-Watt@Home Testbed

The laboratory is a 60 square meter, fully sensorised smart robotic space equipped with state of the art domestic robots and smart home technology and with links to deep-learning and other computing resources. The apartment part of the infrastructure is based on the general design and specifications of the RoCKIn@Home testbed. Check RoCKIn@Home rulebook for details.

Kitchen and dining areas
Kitchen and dining areas


Views of bathroom and bedroom
Views of bathroom and bedroom

Floor plan
Floor plan

Environment Structure and Properties

  • Rooms (accessible to the robot): one inside hallway (with one coat-rack), one large (8mt X 3.825mt) open plan space with kitchen (kitchen worktop and two chairs, a kitchen cabinet with multiple drawers and wash sink, three wall-mounted kitchen shelves), dining (one wooden table and 4 chairs) and sitting room area (a large window, a couch, a sofa, an armchair, one coffee table, one TV table and one large floor lamp), one (3.78mt X 3.14mt) bedroom (one window, a double bed, two side tables, two table lamps and one large wardrobe with mirror) and one (2.7mt X 3.14mt) bathroom.
  • Spatial areas (inaccessible to the robot): outside hallway, directors’ room (with workstation, control monitors and smart home gateways)
  • Well-levelled floor, uniform all over the testbed, but including rugs.
  • Dry walls, 2.4mt high.

Networked Devices

  • 2 work stations: Used to run the RSBB software and other software to visualise video feeds from the cameras installed in the test-bed.
  • Server(s): A cluster of remote computers providing storage (e.g. for dataset collection) and additional computational resources for the control of the robots operating in the test-bed.
  • Switch: An Ethernet switch used to connect the workstation, the smart home gateways, and a network of IP cameras.
  • AP: An Access Point the mobile robots and other wireless devices connect to. Acts as a bridge between WLAN and LAN. The Access Point is an Asus RT-AC88U (Speed:11ac: 2167Mbps 802.11n: 1000 Mbps, Connectivity: 9x Gigabit Ethernet)
  • Smart home gateways: The laboratory is equipped with a number of gateways to proprietary smart home technology. A mini-computer (raspberry-pi) running the OpenHAB (https://www.openhab.org/) smart home middleware is used to integrate all the different technology into a single smart home system and it is easily configured to connect new devices. The middleware is fully integrated with the RSBB software.
  • User interfaces: one Android tablet running user interface software to interact with the ERL RSBB software and the smart home, and smart speakers, including Amazon Echo and Google Home.
  • IP cameras: 4 Power over Ethernet (PoE) cameras (2 Axis M5014 compact IP dome cameras with pan and tilt, HD 720p plus 2 EZVIZ C4S 1080P HD IP Dome Cameras), installed on the ceiling, and  1 wireless camera (Axis M1065-LW, HD 1080p) facing the Outside Hallway. The parameters (frame rate, resolution, and colour gains) of the latter can be changed over wireless.
  • Other sensors:
    • RFID floor (passive tags under the floor of each room, ~1000 tags in total)
    • 8 ceiling mounted passive infrared sensors (PIRs)
    • 40 magnetic switch sensors in drawers and doors
    • Energy monitoring
    • Light, CO2, temperature, humidity and smoke sensors
  • Home Automation Devices:
    • 3 motor to control the window blinds
    • 4 controlled power plugs
    • 4 automated lights, 2 of which dimmable
    • 6 colour changing LED light strips and 2 colour changing LED lamps
    • 1 video doorbell

For inquiries please contact:

Dr. Mauro Dragone
Assistant Professor
Earl Mountbatten Building, Room EM2.15
School of Engineering & Physical Sciences; Sensors, Signals & Systems
Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh Center for Robotics
Edinburgh, EH14 4AS, UK