Participants, in collaboration with Dstl and NDA, were asked to create a platform using together Telepresence, Robotics and Haptics. The three winners (actually four projects) are: TNO, Sheffield University and Cyberselves Universal (for projects TEL-ND and TEL-MED)

Basically, telexistence technology allows organizations to perform tasks – in dangerous environments – without physical presence.

These Phase 2-funded projects are now due to run over the next 10 months and undergo a series of representative trials, with results expected in the summer of 2023.

In DASA’s own words, the winners are described as follows:


TNO’s HaBiTS (Haptic Bimanual Telexistence System) innovation, composed of robotic arms and effectors, aims to provide NDA operators with a high sense of telexist and with the critical visual, auditory and haptic cues required to effectively, efficiently and safely perform tasks.

University of Sheffield

The University of Sheffield’s MediTel (Medical Telecommunications Platform) aims to deliver next-generation medical telestation technologies that integrate telepresence, robotics and haptic technologies on a single platform. This will assist in real-time user interaction with remote environments and advisory interfaces to enhance Combat Medic Technician and Regimental Aid Post capabilities to reduce the risk of human injury. The project is a collaboration between the Advanced Manufacturing Research Center (AMRC) and the faculties of Automatic Control and Systems Engineering (ACSE) and Sheffield Robotics.

Cybercells Universal

Cyberself is undertaking two projects tailored to different use cases but using similar system components. Project one, TEL-ND, aims to create a cutting-edge telexist solution that de-risks NDA operators. The innovation allows operators to perform tasks remotely from a location using a robot without adversely affecting productivity.

Project twoTEL-MED, aims to design an innovative telexisting product that allows a thinly dispersed medical workforce to be present in multiple locations simultaneously while removing them from radioactive, chemically or biologically compromised environments.

Message for Telexistence

The competition was announced back in January with a submission deadline in April, and DASA invited the successful applicants to its laboratories to evaluate their systems against one of three use cases.

These were: Specialized nuclear decommissioning tasks, Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) and defense and security medical applications.

The initial challenge was: “Solutions must allow the user to experience and interact with the remote environment as if they were physically there.”

The three winners are listed above, but in Phase 1 contracts worth a total of £570K were awarded to:

  • Veolia Nuclear Solutions
  • Cyberselves Universal Ltd.
  • Createc
  • L3Harris Technologies, Inc – Robotics Division
  • Holoxica Limited
  • University of Leeds
  • TNO
  • Center for Excellence in Terrorism, Resilience, Intelligence and Organized Crime Research (CENTRIC) at Sheffield Hallam University
  • Digital kinematics

DASA funded competition winners get to grips with telexistence technology

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