The project, funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), is split into two categories. The first will explore ways that technology can improve care for the elderly, while the second will focus on using autonomous (AI) machines to deal with or operate in hazardous environments. Loughborough will receive a £500,000 share of the total funding, which has been allocated to 14 UK universities. The money will towards exploring ‘intelligent manufacturing environments’ – the idea that humans, robots and automated procedures work seamlessly, or ‘co-exist’, to execute challenging manufacturing activities. Through the University’s Centre for Doctoral Training in Embedded Intelligence, the project will be led by Professor Paul Conway, Dr Carmen Torres-Sanchez and Dr Niels Lohse. A new designed training facility has been created to allow scientists to carry out the research.

CDT-EI Director Prof Conway said: “The money from the EPSRC will allow us to build on the UK’s already impressive understanding of robotics, and Loughborough is privileged to be a part of this pioneering project. Here, our aim is to explore how humans can work in union with robots and artificial intelligence to explore off-limits environments and gather data about hazardous sites and situations in a way we cannot currently do. There are also possibilities within this field to use bespoke AI to boost work place and manufacturing productivity in challenging industries.”

In the area of extreme and challenging (hazardous) environments, robotics and artificial intelligence technologies will allow for the inspection, monitoring, and maintenance of sites that are dangerous for humans to enter. This includes hostile environments such as nuclear power plants, oil and gas sites and off-shore renewables. It also includes hazardous urban and suburban situations involving bridges, roads and railways. The aim will be to develop the science around image and vision computing, verification and validation, smart sensing technology and its associated connectivity with the Internet of Things, autonomous manufacturing, healthcare technology, and intelligent mobility.

For more detials visit Loughborough University News.

Raai

The CDT in Embedded Intelligence was one of the four CDTs invited to this theme day dedicated to showcase the good practice in this area in the UK. Named as one of the Eight Great Technologies in 2012, identified as one of the strengths of the UK, and with the potential to revolutionise the economy and society over the next 20 years, the RAAI community met in London on Jan 31st to share experiences and be evaluated in front of a prestigious international panel which included members from Harvard Uni, UC San Diego, EPFL (Lausanne), Leeds, King's College and UCL, and experienced industrialist (eg Dyson, iTechnic and RU Robots). 

 

Our Executive Director, Dr Carmen Torres-Sánchez, represented the CDT-EI and explained our strategy in training provision through our 'Transition Zone', breadth of research topics covered, sectors who have partnered with us and quality of the student experience. 

 

Thanks to the EPSRC for inviting us.

Cohort 2 researcher Melanie Zimmer attended 'using the media to publicise your research' course at Loughborough University.

I never thought about using the media as a way of promoting my research. But on the 18th of January, I attended a workshop in the Graduate House just on that. The session was held by two ex-BBC journalists and was aimed at demystifying this particular channel of communication.

During this one-day workshop, we covered different topics ranging from the various types of media that exist, to understanding that journalists are not really interested in your research as such - but in a good story. A good story, or a pitch to media, is characterised by the following:

  • Relevance to the audience (so what?)
  • Unusual, unique
  • Facts
  • Scandal, conflict
  • Topicality
  • Human interest

Although this workshop was tailored to media, the knowledge we gained can also be transferred to other areas - it is always important to understand your audience and to get the right message across.

When it comes to understanding your audience, it is also important to understand what your audience judges your interview (or presentation, etc.) on. So be clear on (1) What you say, (2) How you say it (your personality), and (3) How well you understand and address the needs, concerns and prejudices of your audience.

Exposing your research through media might be a good way of leading to new funding channels and collaborations. But especially when you consider exposing your research through media for the first time, it might be best to get your University Press Office involved as you can get additional advice from there. Another way of getting your research published to a wider audience could be through https://theconversation.com/uk. The Conversation is a not-for-profit media outlet sourcing content from the research community and providing editorial support.

Some more general advice also includes:

  • Before an interview, take the time and google your topic under the news section to see what is currently going on in this field.
  • Create a fact sheet with general information on your topic area.
  • If filming is taking place at your office, inform your environment beforehand and keep a clean desk.

The workshop also contained a practical training session for us, where we individually got interviewed by one of the journalists for two times 3 minutes – only the first question being made available to us beforehand (As a note: be prepared to be asked questions about costs and when your research will be available!). 

Mz Bbc
 

It felt quite uncomfortable to be put on the spot like this, but it was a great experience to go through such a situation as the sessions were recorded and we received instant feedback by the experts and the other peers.

We are delighted to hear Dr Qinggang Meng (Loughborough University)  and Motion Robotics Ltd have been awarded over £650,000 by Technology Strategy Board: Newton Fund China-UK research and innovation Bridges Competition for their project titled "YOBAN- a companion robot to assist walking, sitting down and standing up for older people". The project, which includes Shenzhen Institute of Advanced Technology and Shezhen Casun Intelligent Robot Co Ltd, will develop a robot to assist older people from poor, low or middle income with movement, provide companionship and cognitive stimulation. The robot will also provide remote health and activity monitoring for caregivers.  

As part of the Transition Zone training programme all our students are given training in how to use coaching as a technique for leadership and management. To follow on from the workshop delivered as part of the CDT-EI programme Cohort  2 researcher David Czerski recently attended a foundation course in professional coaching and came away with a Foundation in Professional Coaching Practice Certificate - well done David!

Cohort 3 researcher Gergely Hantos reports on the Introduction to Design of Experiments seminar he attended in Bristol on the 2nd of December 2016.

The seminar took place in the National Composites Centre (NCC). The seminar was part of the Catapult training programme and it was delivered by Claudius Consulting Ltd. It took place in a computer lab and consisted of a presentation and separate work on the computer using MINITAB software. The presentation familiarised us with the basic definitions and concepts and strategies and statistic methods.

A lunch break separated the presentation and the work with MINITAB. This part of the work consisted of various case studies that utilized the information cquired during the presentation. For the better understanding, the same exercises were conducted on the main computer of the lecturer, projected on the screen so we could follow the steps easily. The outcome of each case study was explained and discussed in details. The laboratory work familiarized aus with Plackett-Burman Designs, two level factorial experiments, factorial replicates of two level experiments, response surface designs and the MINITAB software itself.

The methods learned will help me to analyse and understand small or large datasets better and to design experiments based on the conclusions I draw from the analysis. This was applicable to the my semester 1 group project and I should be able to apply the techniques to my semester 2 group project as well as during future PhD work.

We were delighted to hear that Cohort 3 researcher, Chris Kouppas, has been awarded not one but two prizes for his masters course at the University of Sheffield;

  • Laverick Webster Hewitt Prize - awarded to recognise outstanding performance in Advanced Control and Systems Engineering masters programme.
  • The Eric Rose Prize - awarded for the best project mark on the Advanced Control and Systems Engineering master programme.

Chris joined the CDT-EI in September and is working with Dr Qinggang Meng at Loughborough University, his co-sponsor are Motion Robotics ltd.

Congratulations!

CDT-EI Colloquium

30 November 2016

Colloquium

On 24 November we held our first Colloquium at Heriot-Watt University. We were delighted to have Alun Morgan, the current Chairperson of EIPC, deliver the keynote address. Alun's presentation focussed on the automotive industry and the development of electronics past, present and future. Following the keynote a number of our students presented their research.

  • Adrian Ayastuy Rodriguez “opportunities of Embedded Intelligence in Livestock Production"

  • Melanie Zimmer “Energy optimisation for industry 4.0 – an artificial intelligence approach”

  • Mohamed Taher “Driverless Cars: Are we there yet? Enhancing safety in cars of the future"

  • Ruben Kruiper “Computer-Aided Biomimetics"

  • Pawel Ladosz “Trajectory Planning for Communication Relay Unmanned Aerial Vehicles in Urban Dynamic Environments"

The event concluded with a poster session showcasing the group project work our researchers conduct during the first year of study. Attended by CDT-EI researchers, academics and representatives from our industrial partners the day successfully provided opportunity for attendees to hear about the research being conducted in our Centre and to make new contacts.

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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