Shadow Robot Company
Who are Shadow Robot Company?
The Shadow Robot Company was founded in 1987 by a group of robotics enthusiasts in London. The group has since evolved into one of the longest running robotics companies in the UK, developing robotics technologies and using them to solve real world problems. Our achievements have been recognised within the prestigious Queen’s Awards for Enterprise which we won under Innovation 2019.
We’re best known for our Dexterous Hand, the world’s most advanced robot hand, reproducing, as closely as possible, the kinematics and dexterity of a human hand. It’s used among researchers and universities throughout the world as well as AI experts who use the hand to advance research into machine learning and artificial intelligence. Examples include OpenAI and the Human Brain Project leading us to win the AIconics Awards for best innovation in AI hardware 2019.
We’re also a pioneer in the fast-developing fields of teleoperation and telepresence with our collaborative tactile telerobot, where the Shadow Hand is combined with sensors and controlled via a haptic glove for touch feedback. Shadow’s collaborative technology is designed to take human operators out of harmful situations – such as nuclear decommissioning and bomb disposal. The technology is also being developed for space as part of the AVATAR X programme resulting from work with ANA, making it our third collaboration with a space agency, with the first two being NASA and ESA (European Space Agency).
What projects / schemes / initiatives to support women’s recruitment, retention and progression in STEM are Shadow Robot Company involved in?
We believe progression in STEM starts from an early age and we encourage our staff, particularly our female employees, to go out to schools and universities to talk about robotics, coding, engineering along with their experiences breaking into the industry and their successes. We find this helps young girls to be inspired by real-life examples and begin to see STEM-related careers as perfectly viable and fruitful options.
While we’re proud to say that visitors and journalists coming to our office often comment on how refreshing it is to see such a healthy mix of female faces to males, we believe this should be the case everywhere!
Right from the beginning of our recruitment process, we use gender neutral language in our job ads and often create two versions so that we can cater for both masculine and feminine tones. We’re also ensuring that our interview panels include at least one woman. Once joined, we encourage all our staff to have a healthy work-life balance with flexible working hours, work from home options where possible and encourage staff to register on the WISE website too.
Why did Shadow Robot Company join WISE?
“We joined WISE because we don’t like the disparity of gender in engineering. At the Shadow Robot Company, we are proud to work with such a wealth of inspirational colleagues and partners – which includes a list of brilliant women within the Shadow team and throughout the world of robotics. Neither our company nor our industry’s success could exist without them.”
– Rich Walker, Managing Director, Shadow Robot Company