A COMPANY that invents robots is to receive a royal visit after tripling the size of its headquarters to meet global demand.

Princess Anne will be visiting Labman in the village of Seamer, outside Stokesley, on October 10, to officially open its new 20,000sq ft extension.

John Hesford, spokesman for Labman, said: “It’s a large extension, but it’s already filling up.

“There are lots of orders coming in from big companies in America and also China, where there’s a big market starting to emerge for us. All of these orders require quite a bit of space to fill.”

The robotics and automation company specialises in creating systems that don’t already exist.

With a wealth of new orders, including a large £2.5m formulation engine to build for Liverpool University’s Materials Innovation Factory in Liverpool, the increased floor space is already helping meet the ever-expanding projects that Labman is designing for clients across the world.

Engineers and designers at the company are frequently called on to take a creative approach to engineering and the working space is designed to encourage innovative thinking.

The new extension also features a squash court to complement the company’s existing go-karting track, pool tables and full-sized climbing wall.

“We often receive requests for a system that does x and we go away and scratch our head and think how we can do that,” said Mr Hesford. “Some of the solutions are incredibly complex and having these facilities often help them work things out in a different way. It’s quite a Wallace and Gromit place.”

Ian Riley, Labman’s technical director, added: “We’re pushing boundaries in what we build, so we ensure that working at Labman is never boring.”

The technology company said it also has ambitious recruitment goals from the North-East.

Managing director Andrew Whitwell said: “Labman’s greatest asset is its people; we continually need more amazing engineers, both male and female, to continue to create cutting edge systems.

“We are thrilled Princess Anne, who has been so supportive of engineering and gender equality in the sector, has agreed to open our new factory.”