March 1, 2018

Showcasing the innovation potential of the HBP

The Human Brain Project (HBP) is putting its innovations and novel technologies on display at a two-day event in London.

The March 22-23 Innovation Forum and Exhibition is being held to engage industry and showcase the potential commercial applications of the work going on within the project.

Day one is an Innovation Forum in which researchers, industry, and clinicians can exchange and debate HBP’s research, including brain inspired computing, neurorobotics, big data and brain disorders.

Day two is an exhibition of HBP’s innovations that has been co-organised by Professor Tony Prescott, who works within the Cognitive Neuroscience team of the HBP (he is also one of the creators of the MiRO mammal-like companion robot, which will be among the exhibits).

“The goal is to show people outside the HBP the work that is going on that has innovation potential and to engage with some of the people in that external community, especially people who could help translate knowledge from HBP into the more commercial world. As well as people who might be able use the knowledge, such as people in clinical settings.”

Prof Prescott says at the same time, a second goal is for the HBP itself to start exploring how it is going to work with the commercial world and to begin to build partnerships with external organisations that can help extend the HBP’s goals.

“We want to give companies the opportunity to engage with researchers at an early stage, to find out what they are doing and find out how their ideas might be useful. And this event is the start of that. We want to connect and show that the HBP is going to make a difference.”

The day will highlight work from across the HBP, with more than a dozen exhibits on display. Throughout the day there will be a series of talks about the exhibits and the challenges of turning science into innovation.

“Some innovative start-ups companies are also coming along, some of whom are HBP-linked and some of whom are not and they will show how you can go from brain technology to a successful company,” says Prof Prescott.

Prof Prescott has background in psychology and computational neuroscience as well as robotics. His work focuses on creating control systems for robots based on our understanding of the brain and there will be several of these “brain-based” robots at the exhibition. These include MiRO the mammal-like robot and “Whiskeye” a robot from Bristol Robotics Laboratory that has eyes and whiskers inspired by how animals like rats and mice sense and explore the world.  The humanoid robots iCub and Pepper will also be on display.  iCub will be demonstrating some human-like abilities for recognising and understanding people.

“MiRO has a very simplified model of the brain, which we are trying to make that richer in the HBP and really show the potential of brain based systems. With WhiskEye we are trying to understand how animals understand the world through touch (whiskers) and use that to build robots that are better at sensing and understanding their world. With iCub we are starting to understand how people make sense of their social interactions with each other.  Through building these robots that use brain models we think there is the possibility of building more human compatible robots.”

More details on the exhibition and the day’s programme can be found here:

Registration is open here:

Participants can register for either of the two Innovation days, or both.

 Both days (22 & 23 March):  £190.00

 Day 1 only (22 March):  £150.00

 Day 2 only (23 March):  £60.00

(Entry to day 2 is free from 2pm but advanced registration is required.)



More information on the Innovation Forum (22 March)

More information on the Innovation Exhibition (23 March)

Go straight to the regisration page (for both days)

Meet the MiRo robot

A brain slice viewed through 3D polarising light microscopy developed within the HBP.



An example of some of work being done by HBP's Neurorobotic team (blog)

A second generation neuromorphic chip (BrainScaleS), recently unveiled at the NICE conference alongside the latest SpiNNaker chip (also from within the HBP) and Intel corporation's latest neuromorphic hardware.