Congratulations to a team from Loughborough University who have been awarded an EPSRC platform grant to maintain and develop the strength of manufacturing-related UK engineering.  

Over a 5-year period the team will provide a platform for strategic research and impact activities within the embedded integrated intelligent systems (EIIS) domain. All aspects of research for designing and developing products and processes that can demonstrate adaptation and learning will be included. The funding will also support the development of a pipeline of expertise in EIIS for UK industry and academia.

Robotics17Registration is now open for the International Robotics Showcase, the pinnacle event of UK Robotics Week 2017. Jointly organised by the EPSRC UK-RAS Network and the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), the International Robotics Showcasewill take place at IET Savoy Place in London from 9.00am – 6.30pm. The full-day programme includes exclusive talks by world-renowned experts in science and technology, panel discussions, exhibitions, robot demonstrations and an award ceremony for competition winners demonstrating cutting edge robotics innovation.

The UK-RAS Network will also launch four new White Papers, providing an overview of the current research landscape:  

1. Resilient Infrastructure Robotics  

2. Artificial Intelligence and Robotics

3. Robotics for Emergency Response, Disaster Relief and Resilience

4. Robotics in Social Care: A Connected Care EcoSystem for Independent Living

 Early-bird tickets cost from £75 (£40 discount for senior citizens and students; children under 16 go free if accompanied by paying adult) and can be booked online now at: http://www.theiet.org/events/2017/248343.cfm. The cost covers entry, talks, publication copies, lunch and early evening drinks reception.

Iet

At the showcase event, academics, industry and the public will have the opportunity to enjoy a host of presentations from key international robotics and autonomous systems developers (academic and industry) as well as displays of the very latest robotic technologies by network partners and industry sponsors. Delegates will be able to engage in a discussion forum and attend talks by speakers such as Professor Andrew Blake (Director, A

lan Turing Institute); Professor Philip Nelson (CEO, EPSRC); Dame Mary Archer (Director, Science Museum); Dr Lester Russell (Intel); Dr James Kell (Rolla Royce Plc); and Dr Rob Buckingham (RACE), among many others. Speakers will share their vision on the key technological and socio-economic challenges and opportunities for the future, including robot ethics and the law, emotionally-intelligent robots, social care and independent living, and global robotics. 

UK Robotics Week, held annually during the last week of June, is a unique opportunity to learn about the current state-of-the-art robotic technology, discuss the role of robots and artificial intelligence in our lives, and to inspire the next generation of designers and engineers.  The event includes five competitions in the areas of surgical, extreme environments, resilient infrastructure and social care robotics, plus a special School Robot Challenge, open to all UK schoolchildren aged 4-18 years old.

Activities this year also include the premiere of an Autonomous Systems film on emergency resilience and disaster response, starring local school students and showcasing robotics and autonomous systems research in this area. For more information on the over 100 activities featured as part of UK Robotics Week, please visit the website:www.roboticsweek.uk/ and follow on Twitter (@UKRobotics, #UKRW17).

During the first year our researchers undertake training courses and modules of direct relevance to their PhD research. Here, cohort 3 research, Joel describes one of his elected courses. The training course consisted of three days of modelling and simulation training. The objective was to use the AnyLogic software to tackle problems that occur when trying to model and simulate discrete events (DES), system dynamics (SD) and agents based problems. The trip itself occurred from the 10th of April to the 12th of April 2017 in Paris.

Day 1: DSE and SD
The first day looked at the general overview of the AnyLogic software, DES and SD simulations. Throughout the three days the course teaches you how to use the three different types based on the problem needing to be solved. The use of a manufacturing line was used for the DES example; this included timings, resource efficiency as well as fully animated 3D simulations and objects e.g. conveyer belts. SD simulation was taught using an example based on how people take to a new product on the market through external influences. This has many other target areas such as medicine effectiveness.

Day 2: Agent based modelling
The second day started the introduction with regards to agent based modelling and how to identify the best approach to the given problem. One of the two main examples used was the simulation of a logistics network. This example constituted of trucks travelling two and from distribution centres and warehouses with goods. This taught the group how to use the GIS and (Real Time) database features of the software.
The second example introduced the pedestrian library with an airport example having been used to show its functionality. This example demonstrated how bottlenecks and inefficiencies of a pedestrianised area can be identified through human movement, plus the effects of any machines or processes that must be completed.

Day 3: More Advanced Agent based modelling
Agents are intelligent entities within the AnyLogic software, the third day started with learning how to code properties within the AnyLogic environment. From this you can separate different agents by processes they are involved in and therefore create several simulations within one model. Having completed this step, the remainder of the day was used to either complete an example involving traffic around the colosseum in Rome or ask questions to solve your own simulation issues.

Sensor

Prof. Marc Desmulliez, Heriot-Watt University, is part of a major EPSRC Platform grant awardaiming at creating novel and innovative packaging and integration technologies for medical devices. The £1.3M award, led by Prof. Duncan Hand, will aim at supporting several Research Associates over a 5 year period and initiate pump prime funded feasibility studies.

"I am particularly thrilled to be part of this platform grant", says Marc, "as the funding will allow us to pursue our integration technologies for medical devices that require reduce footprint, low power consumption or wireless capabilities. We will also use our nature-inspired manufacturing technologies to manufacture components that could be incorporated onto contoured surfaces, using thereby the package as an intelligent element. This has bene one of the themes of the CDT-EI right from the proposal stage.”

More information can be obtained found on BBC News website.

Image right: Picture of a custom made electrochemical sensor for detection of lactate.

Robots at the movies: The portrayal of robots and androids in contemporary films

28th June 2017, 6.00-7.30pm

Cope Auditorium, Loughborough University

in support of The UK Robotics Week 2017

Presented by Alan Seaman, film expert and stand-up comedian

A free, family friendly event

Picture1

Automata, robots and androids have been a creation and fascination for humans over centuries.  From Maria (Metropolis, 1927), R2D2 and C3PO (Star Wars, 1977), WALL-E (2008), The Terminators (1984, 1991, 2003) to Transformers (2007), they have been portrayed as our friends, adversaries, alien to almost human, invaders and enslavers or as our saviours and trusted companions. These portrayals in the movies have reflected and perhaps influenced our opinion of them. Join us for an amusing evening reviewing our relationship with these technologies as reflected in their portrayal in the movie industry.

To register visit https://robotsatthemovies.eventbrite.co.uk

Fiona Denison was runner-up in the final presentations of the DEVELOP entrepreneurship program run by Medicity for her project: “the birthing mirror”. Medicity is the premier incubator organisation in Scotland designed to provide an active and supportive business environment for companies to innovate and commercialise in MedTech. The DEVELOP program, entry to which is by competitive application, is open to start-up companies and individuals with business ideas.  Fiona won a second bottle of champagne for undertaking the most customer discovery during the program. Finally, she won a Medicity Engage Invest Exploit Award and has been invited to attend the Exploit Invest Exploit Conference. This is Scotland´s premier technology investor showcase and features Scotland´s most promising high growth companies from the life sciences, ICT and energy sectors.

The birthing mirror project is an interdisciplinary collaborative project involving Heriot Watt University (Desmulliez, ex-HWU Director CDT-EI), Loughborough University (Torres-Sanchez, Executive Director CDT-EI), NHS Lothian (Brook-Smith) and the University of Edinburgh (Denison). To date, this project has received funding from Edinburgh and Lothian’s Health Foundation, Edinburgh Bioquarter and Tommy’s, the Baby Charity.

Fiona is finally one of the academic supervisors of the newly offered CDT-EI PhD studentship in collaboration with Heriot-Watt University.

Cohort 3, Lorenzo Stilo and Joel Earps attended the Smart Cities and Communities: Achieving Smart Urban Growth event. Lorenzo Stilo reports on the event.....

On Wednesday the 22nd of March 2017, few members of my research team and I had the chance to take part of a forum event in Manchester to discuss about Smart Cities and how this new aspect of technology is having impact of urban development and integration with everyday life.

This day was organised by ‘Open Forum Events’ an association that aims to gather conferences of this kind on different areas and aspects of life and technologies, mostly focused on a company and industry-based view of the problem/thematic.

The ‘Smart Cities and Communities’ conference focused of having a broad view of how different commercial and institutional entities are interpreting and responding to this new area of development for urban zones.

Our aim for this event was to have an update on the approaches that different speakers and competitors are choosing when we come to deal with the challenges of making our cities ready for the next industrial revolution, to compare them with what our research team is doing in investigating how can cities change to match the new requirements and needs of their citizens.

The morning session opened with two different views for the London metropolitan area, one institutional the other private. Then Andy Burnham, MP for Leigh, welcomed the audience and present his agenda for the development of Manchester metropolitan area.

Next speaker present the structure and the development of a European Union project based on updating the public administration, this project involved four different European cities and aimed to understand common problematics and provide possible technological approached to face these problematics.

What follow were two private companies both focusing on developing and selling services oriented to ‘make our cities smarter’. The first from HERMAN International presented strategies to deal with the upcoming needs derived from overpopulation, energy consumption and outdated infrastructure. The second from 3DEXPERINCity showed the audience an example of the solution that this company is providing from great urban agglomerates such as Singapore, a complete virtual replica of the entire city underlining the benefit of such a complex and complete modelling.

The forum continued with the presentation of the joint project held by University of Bristol and Bristol City Council called ‘Bristol is Open’ focused on delivering a programmable digital infrastructure to facilitate R&D, innovation and experimentation at a city scale.

During the afternoon session Selux UK explained their innovation for exterior lighting systems as a case study to underline how aspects that from a traditional prospective have nothing to do with smart innovation find themselves on the verge of progress with simple but crucial upgrades to the current technology.

The Department of Computer Science of University College London (UCL) present an really interesting project base on wireless sensors system to monitor nocturnal animals life based on ultrasound pattern recognition for the area that hosted the Olympic Park in north of London.

Others notable speakers were: representative of CityVerve Project from University of Manchester and the IoT company FutureEverything.

The forum concluded with a panel discussion held by representative of Future Cities Catapult, Nesta and Cisco.

Overall the forum offered us a good experience to understand where different industries and institution are interpreting the concept of Smart Cities and what are some of the more interesting services and project offered in this area.

Gajarajan Sivayogan (Gaj) from CDT-EI was accompanied with Rickie Bewsher for a 1 Day training based in Cambridge. COMSOL experts opened the event by briefly explaining about the history of the product and how COMSOL has developed. Interestingly they strongly emphasized how the customers directed the development and how the user base has grown.

COMSOL also organised a mini oral presentation with highly dedicated end users presenting their findings. The work on an ‘equivalent tensile measuring’ machine that is portable was a very interesting talk. The ability to find material properties that can only be done in a lab but in any environment is a well thought out working concept.

The main part of the training day was split into 2 parallel session. One session is basics of a ‘module’ in comsol, while the other is about the in-depth characterises and settings that can be found. Each of the 2 sessions was split into further 3.  After going to the first of the learning session, it was found that this was not useful, the content shown could have been learned in our own time. However the other type of sessions was found extremely useful. One of the most beneficial aspects of the day was the dedicated support time allocated for the event. Here anyone with a COMSOL model and go and explain to the advisers and help troubleshoot any key issues. Gaj found talking to COMSOL experts directly helped him with his project work. Overall those who have not looked at COMSOL will find the training day highly useful. While people who have used COMSOL will not be fully benefited by the experience, having a dedicated technical sessions accompanied with dedicated one to one support is highly beneficial.

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General Enquiries Contacts:

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