press release
Published: 09 June 2022

New competition calls for bio-robot ideas that could be made into working prototype

A new competition calls on the public to send in their wildest nature-inspired ideas that could make a difference in the world, and scientists will bring the winning idea to life in a prototype.  

Dr Robert Siddall, a lecturer in robotics at the University of Surrey is co-organising the competition. Explaining his love for nature and robotics, he said: 

"Nature continues to provide the most elegant solutions to countless problems. I have been fascinated by how geckos can launch themselves from immense heights, glide and land gracefully without suffering great injury. I was so enamoured that I've made several robots to help understand the geckos' secrets." 

The Natural Robotics Contest, run by researchers from the University of Surrey and its partners, is open to all ages. Entrants need only provide a short description of a robot, inspired by nature, that can do something to help the world, and a drawing to accompany it. The competition is open until 30 June 2022.  

Dr Siddall continues: 

"The two biggest goals of this competition are to spark an interest in biomimicry and for us, the scientists, to be inspired by great pitches that will surely come from the public. Whether it is a woodpecker that checks trees for diseases or a mech-falcon that protects sea turtle eggs; we want to hear about it. And who knows, your idea might be the one we turn into a working prototype." 


For more information on the Natural Robotic Contest, please visit their website. 


Notes to editors 

  • Dr Robert Siddall is available for interview upon request. 

  • Contact the University of Surrey's Media team via 

  • The University of Surrey is a leading research institution that focuses on sustainability to the benefit of society in order to deal with the many challenges of climate change. It is also committed to improving its own resource efficiency on its own estate in Guildford and being a sector leader. It has set a commitment to be carbon neutral by 2030. In April, it was ranked 55th in the world by the Times Higher Education (THE) University Impact Rankings which assesses more than 1,400 universities' performance against the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 


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