Academy of Robotics set to transform former RAF base into driverless vehicle hub

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Developer of autonomous delivery vehicles Academy of Robotics has acquired a former military base in Norfolk for its headquarters.

The former RAF Neatishead site, near Wroxham, will provide Academy of Robotics a base close to technology and research firms in Cambridge. Its existing infrastructure, which covers a 26-acre site, will be used for the company’s development work.

William Sachiti, founder of Academy of Robotics, said: “Re-using existing infrastructure offers huge advantages not only for us, but also for the environment and we are already working on laying the foundations to make this a much more sustainable site.

“For us, the great benefit of the site is that so much of the core infrastructure we need is already in place, so we are keen to work with the facilities, which already exist on the site and to create a new purpose for the site based on autonomous robotics.

“Lotus isn’t too far away, so there’s talent around and not to mention a lot of RAF skilled personnel some of who are retired. We hire all sorts of ages so this is a good site because everything is there.”

Read more: RAF trials autonomous deliveries on airbase

It is expected the move will start over the next month with renovation work completed by the end of the summer. The existing museum on the base will remain untouched by the development and Sachiti stressed that the firm will cause little disruption to the local community.

He said: “Our day job is we design and build autonomous vehicles and this is not limited to cars,” he said. “We build every aspect that goes into this. So this is the work and testing it.

“We were quite a small company and a very small team but we’re moving to the site to scale-up production, so if you image a small Tesla-like company when they are still young is moving in, it is something more along those lines.”

Read more: Academy of Robotics opens latest funding round to the public

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