Entering the Contest

Entering is simple! All you need is an idea for a robot, inspired by nature, that can do something to help the world. You'll need a drawing of your robot and a short description of what it does.

This year’s contest centres around the goals announced at the recent UN Biodiversity Conference/COP15 (scroll down for a summary of the goals). We want you to think of ideas for robots which can help the world meet those targets.

Perhaps a robotic woodpecker that checks trees for disease? Maybe a robot falcon protecting the eggs of sea turtles? Or a mechanical plant that reinforces a riverbank?

Submissions are invited from people of all ages - anyone with an interest in nature or robotics is welcome. We are looking for thoughtful and creative ideas, not drawing ability, so you don't need to be an artist to win!

The contest is open until July 31st 2023 . The winning submission will be designed and fabricated into a real prototype by the robotics team.

We have also prepared a lesson plan for educators.

A diving gannet with its robotic equivalent

At the COP15 UN biodiversity summit in Montreal, Canada, nations agreed to protect nature and work towards several key goals. Hover over the images below to see some of those targets.
How can your robot design help?

Submit Your Entry!

The 2022 Competition

There were many more great ideas, covering a broad range of topics, animal types and use cases. We were very impressed with the thought and care that went into many of the submitted designs. Some of the judge's favourites are below, and keep scrolling to see the winner.

2022 Winner: 'Gillbert'

Each entry was scored independently by our judges. The winner this year was 'Robo-fish' by Eleanor Mackinstosh. Eleanor's design took thoughtful inspiration from nature and had an important purpose - sampling and tracking microplastics in the water.

We took her idea and turned it into a fully 3D-printed fish with a set of mesh lined gills, which Eleanor has affectionately named 'Gillbert'. The robot is now an ongoing piece of robotics research! You can see Eleanor's idea and the robot it became in the gallery below. If you want more detail on the contest and the robot, you can read our research paper.

Meet the Roboticists

The winning entry will be selected and built by a group of senior engineers and scientists with years of experience bringing robots to life.
You can take a look at the team below. Click any member to see some of their work.

Or watch the video below to see some of the bioinspired robots built by the contest team.