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Centre for Robotics

Developing mobile robots for inspections and assistive and wearable robots

Leader: Professor Tariq Sattar, The Welding Institute (TWI)  Chair and Director of the London South Bank Innovation Centre

The UK Government has identified Robotics, Autonomous and Intelligent (RAI) systems as a key technology where the UK is positioned to be a world leader. The Centre contributes to this area by developing mobile robots for inspection of safety critical infrastructure, and assistive and wearable robots for an ageing population and for medical rehabilitation.

Reflecting current interests, we build on the world-class track record of our leader, Prof. Sattar, who has been a key innovator in the development of robotics for industrial inspection tasks since the early 1990s. Prof. Sattar’s research has recently culminated in the establishment of the London South Bank Innovation Centre (LSBIC) for the Automation of Non-Destructive-Testing, based in Cambridge, which collaborates with TWI Ltd and the National Structural Integrity Research Centre (NSIRC).

We also research the geometrical aspects of mechanisms and robots (kinematics and dynamics), control theory and adaptive/intelligent computing for autonomous robots.

Our research has won twelve Emerald awards for innovation in industrial robotics and best papers and was selected for exhibition by the Royal Society (2010) and the Royal Academy of Engineering (2011).

Our Centre members are currently collaborating with industrial companies on various projects, including InnotecUK, TWI, Cork Institute of Technology (CIT), NDT Consultants (UK), Innora, iKnowHow (IKH) Greece, WS MARINE (Netherlands), Integrity NDT (Turkey), Technic-Control (Poland)and GAMESA (Spain).

They have also been successful in obtaining millions of pounds of funding. Current EU, Horizon 2020 Fast Track to Innovation projects include: Winspector; TankRob and RiserSure. Current InnovateUK and EPSRC projects to develop NDT Robots include: AWI, RIMCAW, SIRCAUR and NAUTILUS.

Externally funded research projects are investigating:

  • In-service robotic non-destructive testing of off-shore wind turbine blades, oil and gas flexible risers, petrochemical storage tanks, ship welds, mooring chains and large concrete structures
  • Development of intelligent condition monitoring tools for asset management
  • Diagnosis, prognosis and dynamics of rotating machinery using acoustic emission and vibration technologies
  • Gas compressor diagnosis and prognosis for SHELL
  • Helicopter main gearbox monitoring for the European Aviation Safety Agency

Our members serve on robotics journals editorial committees and are organisers of the international conference on Climbing and Walking Robots (CLAWAR) and are active in the international committee for standardisation of service robots.

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