Planning permission for a new drone training and testing facility has been approved by Runnymede Borough Council and plans are progressing for the build.
The facility will be part of the new Omnidrome Research and Innovation Centre at the university for world-leading research, innovation, education and knowledge exchange for air, land and water-based drones.
The building will be a bespoke hanger which will allow operators to develop and test specialist electric drones in a confined, safe space, without disrupting residents or those on campus.
Professor Jürgen Adam, who has been appointed as the new Director of Omnidrome, said: “This is a very exciting time for the university, and I am looking forward to heading up the new Omnidrome Research and Innovation Centre with the team.
“The centre and new Omnidrome facility will allow us to meet the future needs for challenge-led research and innovation in areas such as drone and sensor technology, robotics, Artificial Intelligence and more.”
Professor Ken Badcock, Senior Vice-Principal (Academic Strategy & Research) at Royal Holloway, added: “The new centre and Omnidrome facility will be on the cutting edge of new advances in cyber security and is unique to the UK in its response to robotic research.
“We are very much looking forward to working with many partners, sharing innovations and ideas and helping businesses explore the full advantages that technology like this can bring to their organisations.”
The testing and flying of drones associated with the use of the building as a drone research facility will only take place within the building.
No experimental drones and drones with experimental software will be permitted to fly outside of the building.
Over the coming months, more detailed information about the centre will be shared regarding the plans and aspirations.
The build will take approximately three weeks, as the structure is primarily fabricated offsite, and will start in spring 2023.