Living Machines 2017

14 August 2017

The 6th international conference biomimetic and biohybrid systems, called 'Living Machines', was held this year at Stanford University in California. Christos Kouppas (cohort 3) and Ruben Kruiper (cohort 2) attended to present their work on bio-inspired robotics and computer-aided biomimetics respectively. The conference started with several workshops on the 25th of July, addressing topics such as unmanned aerial vehicles and simulating evolution-and-development mechanisms. The conference was held over 3 days and finished with several lab-visits at the University of California, Berkeley.

During the conference Christos presented work on Unmanned Aerial Vehicles in a 20 minutes oral presentation. Christos had create a novel sensor for airflow around UAVs and he designed a feedforward-feedback controller to demonstrate the performance capabilities of the sensor. The full paper can be found on ResearchGate.

 Christos

 Ruben presented a poster on Computer-Aided Biomimetics - the use of computational tools in support of bio-inspired design. Such tools aim to support the identification and selection of biological information that is relevant to an engineering problem, as well as helping to understand and transfer biological information to an engineering context. The paper and poster can be found on ResearchGate.

 

VISUM summer school

7 August 2017

Cohort 3 research Orange tells us about Visum Summer School 2017.

With CDT-EI’s sponsorship, I attended VISUM summer school from July 7th – 14th in Porto. VISUM stand for Vision Understanding and Machine Intelligence and this summer school aimed to gather PhD, candidates, post-doctoral scholars and researchers from academia and industry with research interests in computer vision and machine learning. VISUM is organized by INESC TEC in the scope of the FourEyes projects.

Summer school included six full days theoretical and practical sessions, one day for social programme and the last day was final demonstration of the projects we have done during the Project Hackathon. Specialists and professors from universities and industries gave us the lessons of the state-of-the-art techniques based on deep learning and computer vision in the morning, and in the afternoon, we had the hand-on sessions with their help.  On the industry day, we had speakers from Facebook, Disney Research etc. They did give us lots of valuable advice and the examples how to turn techniques into real commercial products. Social day was travelling and exploring Porto with the guide of summer school community and it was great chance to meet people who has similar background and common interest.

These 8 days was unforgettable and rich. The techniques I have learnt was extract what I need for my own research. The hand-on sessions built my confidence to apply techniques, which was always a hard thing for me since I didn’t know how to apply them even I understand the theory behind. Practice also makes me understand the theory more. I would strongly recommend this summer school for the people who need deep learning and computer vision knowledge to boost their research.

 

Article by cohort 2 reseacher Rhys Comissiong.

On the 1st July, I participated in the Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CAV) Hackathon hosted by Transport Systems Catapult (TSC). The event was held at their Milton Keynes office where each team had the opportunity to tackle one of the five challenges. These included: exploring CAV data, CAV ecosystem business models, build a LUTZ simulation, environmental impact and accessible CAV design. We had 26 hours to work on the challenges before presenting at to a panel of judges and the other competitors.

Cav HackTeam ROSteK consisted of myself, Dr Thomas Steffen (my supervisor), Mauricio Silva (University of Northampton) and Ashton Bowen (De Montfort University). We decided to tackle the challenge of building a CAV simulation. TSC provided us with data, equipment (including a driving simulator and an Omnideck virtual reality simulator), and expert mentors in the field of autonomous vehicles and simulation. We recognised that a key challenge to testing autonomous vehicles is latency of feedback of the controller during simulation. For this reason, we wanted to find a way of putting the actual controller of the autonomous vehicle within the simulation, rather than modelling it. We achieved this by creating an MQTT broker to bridge the virtual world in Unity (windows-based gaming engine) and the controller in Linux-based Robotic Operating System (ROS). This allowed us to test the quality of a controller, similar to how you would test an engine on a test bed before putting it in a vehicle in the automotive industry.

Our business pitch to the judges was that through high performance computing you could exponentially increase the amount of testing prior to putting the autonomous vehicle on the road. Each group had 4 minutes to present their ideas which was then judged on novelty, technical complexity, business model and quality of presentation. Our efforts of working continuously through the night were rewarded by being declared the winners of the weekend. We were given Amazon Echo Dot’s as a prize and the top 3 groups were put through to present our ideas at the showcase finale at the London Transport Museum on the 12th July.

We had just over a week to further develop our ideas and put together a 10-minute presentation on as a business pitch. At the showcase finale, there was a drinks reception within the museum; which allowed for networking opportunity with people from academia, government and industry, and a vast range of disciplines. Around 100 people were in attendance, which included a different expert panel of judges and guest speakers. At the end of the presenting the judges were given the opportunity to ask questions which focused on the business, social and ethical issues of the projects. The winners were presented with a £2000 prize and the opportunity to present their work to the industry sponsors. Team ROSteK finished as runners up.

Despite not winning the showcase finale, it was a fantastic opportunity to learn about advances in the field of autonomous vehicles. The most significant thing I learnt was how important it is to tailor the information we delivered to our audiences. Depending on their background their agendas would vastly differ and so you had a to have an extensive knowledge to be able to answer the range of questions and explain why your work is both relevant and applicable. This is something I plan on doing with my own PhD work when preparing for presenting, communicating with my sponsor company and networking.

Cohort 3 researcher Matt Hammond describes the Institute of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) seminar about Low Temperature Pressure Systems he recently attended.

I attended this seminar on the 28th June 2017 at the Institute of Mechanical Engineering training centre in Sheffield. The seminar was organised by the IMechE to discuss views on the standards and regulations of low temperature and high pressure storage and process systems, and how they impact the design and operation of such systems. The seminar saw representatives from various industries including materials engineering, industrial gases, and oil and gas, come together to discuss key issues in the operation of different systems, their failure modes and integrity management solutions. Of particular interest to my research were presentations on Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) systems including “LNG fuel systems for marine propulsion” delivered by Oscar Kallerdahl (Vice President LNG Systems, Rolls Royce) in Norway and “integrity management in ageing LNG facilities” delivered by Azrul Hilmi, DNV GL. With my research taking place in a laboratory environment, it was interesting to hear insights into the issues and solutions on a process scale and in the use of LNG as a fuel. I also took the opportunity to network and discuss my research with various attendees.

TSS@ETS 2017

11 July 2017

Cohort 3 researcher, Gergely Hantos, tells us about The Test Spring School and European Test Symposium 2017

Tss2017group

As part of The European Test Symposium (ETS'17), The Test Spring School (TSS@ETS 2017) ran over 3 days and was aimed at PhD and MSc students. Renowned experts introduced attendees to modern test, dependability and fault tolerance technology and presented the main challenges faced by the nanoelectronic systems industry. It was held in Nicosia, Cyprus and on the final day we were transported to Limassol for the last lectures and the start of IEEE European Test Symposium (ETS).
Both TSS and ETS were highly relevant to my research area and I was hoping to get a deeper understanding of state of the art testing methods and to get to know the latest built-in-self-test strategies of MEMS. Both events did not disappoint and I was exposed to the current trends in emerging test strategies and the utilisation possibilities of machine learning in testing. I learned a lot of new things and now I am able to approach my work from a different point of view. One aspect is that I am going to broaden my research towards machine learning.
There were many parts I could highlight as most enjoyable, it is hard to decide. The social activities were brilliant, the visited cities were wonderful and the lecture by Yiorgos Makris on Machine Learning Based Test was amazing. I would highly recommend it to anyone interested in this field.

Tss2017

Ssei17

The Digital Economy’s 2017 Summer School was hosted by CDT in Embedded Intelligence at their London Campus, the trendy, forward thinking area of Here East. The theme for this year was “Innovation insights for the digital workforce of tomorrow” and held over three days, 4th-6th July, focused on three stages; learn with seminars, do with workshops and practise with practicals. A breakdown and more details about the Summer School can be viewed here.

Around 75 students from a wide variety of the DEN CDTs attended including Embedded Intelligence, My Life in Data (Horizon), Cloud Computing, Digital Civics, Intelligent Games & Game Intelligence, Media and Arts Technology, Web Science and HighWire as well as having representation from Cyber Security at Royal Holloway. It was great to see everyone instantly getting along and really immersing themselves in their sessions.

There was such a variety going on from panels, speed networking, playing with Lego (we promise there were learning outcomes from this), producing films (watch the film here), pimping out their social media presence, practising their elevator pitch and creating posters. Everyone definitely left that Summer School with new knowledge and a new skill.

With the Olympic Park at our fingertips, some of the students and staff took advantage of our location and were brave enough to slide down the ArcelorMittal Orbit, and I heard of a few early morning swims in the Olympic pool too. Evening events had great views of London skyline, inventions of new drinks (Glushies, appearing in a bar near you soon) and great entertainment.

You can view the tweets from the Summer School using #SSEI17. Our friends at Tableu (who ran a workshop on “The beautiful science of data visualisation”) have prepared a data analysis on the event’s hashtag, which can be viewed here.

The Digital Economy Network would like to thank EPSRC, Professor Paul Conway, Dr Carmen Torres-Sánchez, the Embedded Intelligence CDT Manager Donna Palmer, DEN Manager Felicia Black, Event support and organisers Siobhan Horan and Finn, Loughborough London for letting us takeover their space plus all their lovely staff and all our panellists, guests and attendees for making it such a memorable and fun Summer School.

We celebrated UK Robotics Week 2017 by hosting a brief history of robots in the movies from silent film to the present day. With over 200 tickets reserved the Cope Auditorium at Loughborough University was full. Presented by film expert and comedian Alan Seaman the talk took us from 1927 ‘Maria’ in Metropolis via 1950s servitude robots such as Forbidden Planets ‘Robby the Robot’ and the murderous androids of1970s Westworld and battling ‘Mechagodzilla’ to the comedic relief of ‘R2D2’ and ‘C3PO’ in Star Wars and, a personal highlight, seeing the 1990s robotic ‘Wrong Trouser’ in Nick Park’s second claymation Wallace and Gromit movie. Of course, a talk about robots in film would not be complete without the Iron Giant and Pixar Wall-E.    

forthe live recording of the talk click here and to listen to the BBC Radio interviews with Alan Seaman and Dr Carmen Torres-Sanchez click here

Robots

follow us
@cdt_ei

3 days ago Melanie Zimmer attended this year’s NLDB2019 conference held at the University of Salford. The conference covered t… https://t.co/X332fBviK2
2 weeks ago Our Cohort 3 student, Orange Gao attended ICIP (IEEE International Conference on Image Processing) in September 201… https://t.co/HvoHZ58TGL
3 weeks ago "RRET aims at delivering the fundamental understandings of the underwater robots’ manipulation, application program… https://t.co/xQjeMftiFL

General Enquiries Contacts:

Loughborough University

Loughborough, Leicestershire
LE11 3TU
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)1509 263171
CDT Office
cdt-ei@lboro.ac.uk

Heriot-Watt University

Edinburgh, Scotland
EH14 4AS
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)131 449 5111
Dr Keith Brown
k.e.brown@hw.ac.uk