Blackwood continues to be a leader in the housing and social care sector with our innovation work and focus on using technologies to better support our customers, and help our care and housing workforce. 

We have embraced and pushed forward with robotic innovations and technologies, co-designing use cases with customers, integrating robots into our bespoke housing, and piloting some of the most advanced robotics in our care services. We have developed strong examples of where robotics could be used in care, and have partnerships with various academic institutions across the UK, where we continue to lead the way on using robotics. 

Case Study: Robotics KTP, with Heriot Watt University, funded by UKRI

Blackwood has been a project partner in a 2-year long robotics project with Heriot Watt University, funded by UKRIs Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP). The project wanted to co-design, test and trial care applications on temi robots in a care at home setting, to evaluate the benefits with customers.


The project began in January 2023, and is ending at the beginning of June 2024. The project has achieved the following,

  • Held 3 co-design workshops, that included customers, staff and academics
  • 10 customers were involved across the length of the project
  • 3 customers were participants directly involved in the trials
  • Over 30 Blackwood staff were involved in supporting the work, which included involvement in workshops, integrations, developments, and being featured on STV news
  • Cross-team collaboration to achieve project outcomes including innovation, digital team, housing, marketing and care services
  • Excellent collaboration work with partners Heriot Watt University
  • Integrated the temi robots with the Blackwood Glasgow Helenvale building and participating customer homes
  • Integrated the temi robots with internal digital systems
  • Successfully had the temi robots autonomously navigate through the buildings, reach the customers in their home, do a mental health check in, and return to its original location
  • The project has been featured on STV news, mentioned in the Mirror and at various events and conferences

Customer experience

Through the co-design workshops 1 customer had suggested using the robot for a mental health check-in. A mental health check-in application was developed, put onto the robot, and was used during the trial. The customer commented on their experience during the project;

I have immensely enjoyed being a part of the project. I initially got involved as I was curious about what Robotics encompassed, and despite being unsure about technology, I kept an open mind. From the very first workshop, I saw how they could be of benefit. Contributing ideas from a service user point of view felt such a privilege and now that I have seen my ‘mental health check-in’ idea has been incorporated into the Robot, is just mind blowing! It makes me feel not only proud of my idea, but more importantly, that it can be of benefit to others. That makes me happy to know that someone else might feel better because of it.

Staff experience

A Team Leader in one of our Edinburgh services attended the Robotics KTP app development workshop due to his interest in technologies, innovation and intrigue in robotics; 

What an amazing opportunity it is for someone like myself, working in care and a confirmed non-believer in robotics, to first hand see and experience the difference's robots can make in my clients life. I'm totally converted and find myself researching more on the subject. It’s an absolute pleasure and honour to be part of something so big that will shape the future. Please can we do this more often

He has not only since attended other Blackwood robotic workshops, including CPD Ecosystems, but he has encouraged his team and customers to attend, putting a lot of time, effort, and dedication in. 

Post-Project Learning and Future

There will be continued evaluation work on the project learning that will help us understand how robotics could be further developed and potentially used in Blackwood in the future.

Robotic Projects Timeline

2024, CPD Ecosystems: Robotics and Frailty

with UCL and University of Aberdeen

Funded by Emergence Network

2024, Telepresence Rehabilitation for Older Adults

with University West of England, Bristol, and University of Cardiff


2022-2024, FEATHER

with University of Edinburgh, Heriot Watt University, NHS Lothian, Leuchie House

Funded by EPSRC


2022-2024, Robotics KTP

With Heriot Watt University

Funded by UKRI Knowledge Transfer Partnership


2022-2024 Emergence Network

With University of Nottingham and various partners

Funded by EPSRC


2022, Telepresence Robotics

Funded by Digital Health and Care Scotland, TEC Test of Change

Collaboration or Partnerships

If you would be interested in learning more about our robotics work, or to discuss and explore any potential funding opportunities or partnerships, please contact,

William Wright

Project Lead Innovation and Research