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The University of Salford Robotics Symposium by NERIC

On behalf of the University of Salford and the North of England Robotics Innovation Centre (NERIC), we extend a thank you to all the guests, speakers, and delegates who attended the University of Salford Robotics Symposium. Last Tuesday 70+ guests came for knowledge, insights, and advancements in robotics and related technologies, to hear from industry experts, and explore cutting-edge research. This conference is a testament to the collaborative spirit and commitment to excellence that drives our community forward.

Thank you for joining us at the University of Salford’s Robotics Symposium, and we hope you enjoy the day.

About the North of England Robotics Innovation Centre (NERIC)

NERIC stands at the forefront of robotics innovation with state-of-the-art facilities, a vibrant hub, and a commitment to contributing to the regional economy in Greater Manchester. We provide a platform for innovation, research, and collaboration. As a beacon for the university’s robotics and automation specialisms, NERIC boasts a £16 million facility, part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and Research England (RE).

The centre serves as a hub for small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) looking to design, test, and validate innovation in this rapidly growing area. NERIC offers SMEs a one-stop shop for developing and applying robotics and automation alongside other innovative digital technologies in their business. The centre also provides access to a purpose-built facility, specialist equipment, and innovation support services to advance new and improved applications and products.

For more information, please contact neric@salford.ac.uk.

Conference Programme

The event will start with a keynote speaker, followed by three 75-minute parallel sessions on the following themes:

  • Industrial Automation & Advanced Robotics Manufacturing
  • Healthcare Robotics & Technology
  • Intelligent Mobility & Transport
  • Innovation & Future Technologies

What happened throughout the day

Welcome and Conference Opening – Prof. Wei Yao
Keynote Speaker – Prof. Kaspar Althoefer
First Floor Conference Suite 1&2
 

Session One (75 minuets)

First Floor Conference Suite 2

Industrial Automation & Advanced Robotics Manufacturing – Chair: Prof. William Holderbaum

  1. Karol Janik – Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC): The role of innovation in the challenges and opportunities for Robotics in UK Manufacturing
  2. Marko Svaco – University of Zagreb: Activities at the Regional Center of Excellence for Robotic Technology (VIRTUAL)

Second Floor Boardroom 2

Intelligent Mobility and Transport – Chair: Prof. May He

  1. Prof. May He – University of Salford: Autonomous Vehicles – Cybersecurity and Privacy Challenges and Opportunities
  2. Dr. Truong Dinh – University of Warwick: Advanced Modelling and Optimal Control in Management Technologies for Electric Motorcycle Development (VIRTUAL)

Second Floor Boardroom 1

Healthcare Robotics & Technology – Chair: Dr. Guowu Wei

  1. Dr. Guowu Wei – University of Salford: Using Bio-inspired Tendon-driven Robotics for optimal performance of robotic systems
  2. Prof. Sheila Pankhurst – Prof. Wei Yao: Is wearability the key in measuring blood pressure on sensors and better outcomes?

Session 2 (75 Minutes)

First Floor Conference Suite 2

Industrial Automation & Advanced Robotics Manufacturing – Chair: Prof. William Holderbaum

  1. Martin Bullock – AMPI: What is the Advanced Machinery & Productivity Institute (AMPI)?
  2. Dr. Claire Potter – AMPI: To develop a set of methods, standards, and practical approaches to improve integration of digital technologies for dynamic applications
  3. Dr. Muhammad Khan – National Centre of Robotics and Automation (NCRA) Pakistan: Leveraging AI/ML for Industrial Robots: Odyssey and Opportunities
  4. Xi Kuan Goh, Che Fa Yong, Eileen Se, Ye Huai, Dr. Mariam Majid – University of Malaysia Perlis: Towards a novel Vision-based Machine Learning for Automated Guided Vehicle in Conveyor Systems (VIRTUAL)

First Floor Conference Suite 1

Innovation & Future Technologies – Chair: Prof. Maziar Nezhad

  1. Dr. Alif Krishan Hoshair – University of Essex: Implementing small-scale robots for control applications
  2. Prof. Maziar Nezhad – University of Salford: Controlling the flow of light with photonic nanostructures

Second Floor Boardroom 2

Intelligent Mobility and Transport – Chair: Prof. May He

  1. Dr. Olalouwa Popoola – University of Glasgow: Connected Robotics for Intelligent Transport Systems
  2. Muhammad Musa Nawaz, Prof. Qammer Hossain, and Dr. Aftab Khan – University of Glasgow: Application of Connected and Autonomous Vehicles Technologies in Freight-carrying Robots
  3. Dr. Mahsan Saeedizad, Muhammad Ali Imran – University of Glasgow: New Frontiers in 6G Robotics
  4. Dr. Xu Zhou – University of Glasgow: So-DoA: A Spatially-Aware DoA-based Localization in 5GNR Networks

Second Floor Boardroom 1

Healthcare Robotics & Technology – Chair: Dr. Guowu Wei

  1. Dr. Hin-Shing Kuo – University of Wollongong, Australia: State Balancing: Design of new robots and their impact on individual outcomes
  2. Edwin Espin – NERIC, University of Salford: Wearable Robotics: The Ankle Device Innovation Model Application

Third Session (75 Minutes)

First Floor Conference Suite 2

Industrial Automation & Advanced Robotics Manufacturing – Chair: Prof. William Holderbaum

  1. Joseph Carm, Arnab Bhomwick, Vivekanand Manjunath, Kinjal Bhatt – Advanced Manufacturing Advanced Research Centre: Developing AI-based Intelligent Decision Support System for Manufacturing using IoT and Big Data Analytics
  2. Farzad Panahizadeh – University of York: Rapid Multi-objective Toolpath Planning using Active Vision in Robot-Assisted Applications (VIRTUAL)
  3. Homan Haddad – University of Warwick: Development of Aerial Drone-Infrastructure Monitoring using Mobile Robots with Dual Manipulators (VIRTUAL)

First Floor Conference Suite 1

Innovation & Future Technologies – Chair: Prof. Maziar Nezhad

  1. William Wren, Victoria Stafford, Lee Haigh, Dr. Mark Hughes – University of Salford: The Future of Immersive Technologies in Robotics
  2. Dr. Mark Hughes – University of Salford: Towards Better Integration of Usability in Healthcare Robotics

Second Floor Boardroom 2

Intelligent Mobility and Transport – Chair: Prof. May He

  1. Yajing Shen and Tongxin Singh – Sheffield Hallam University: Developing Urban Transport Corridors Using Robotic Process Automation
  2. Naveed Nawaz, Ahmed Al-Reyassa, and Helen X – University of Salford: Implementing Autonomous Freight Robotics in Smart Cities

Second Floor Boardroom 1

Healthcare Robotics & Technology – Chair: Dr. Guowu Wei

  1. Dr. Sibylle Thies – University of Salford: Dr. Thies’ Collaborative Research on Rehabilitation Robotics for Older Adults
  2. Marcus Muller, Edwin Espin and Inge Herrington – NERIC, University of Salford: New Approaches to Assistive Robotics: A Multi-sensory Fusion Approach

Forth Session (75 Minutes)

First Floor Conference Suite 2

Industrial Automation & Advanced Robotics Manufacturing – Chair: Prof. William Holderbaum

  1. Dr. Hisham Sharif, Dr. May He – University of Salford: Incorporating Machine Learning in Automated Guided Vehicles for Efficiency Improvement
  2. Anna Dunn, Jonathan Evans – Manufacturing Technology Centre: Industrial Robotics for Advanced Production Systems

First Floor Conference Suite 1

Innovation & Future Technologies – Chair: Prof. Maziar Nezhad

  1. Dr. Emma Finnigan – University of Salford: Exploring Robotics for Rehabilitation: The Role of Innovative Technology
  2. Dr. Nathaniel Ho – University of Salford: Multi-robot Systems for Search and Rescue Missions

Second Floor Boardroom 2

Intelligent Mobility and Transport – Chair: Prof. May He

  1. Jingyi Zhang – University of Birmingham: Enhancing Public Transport Safety with Robotics
  2. Dr. Ahmed Wali, Dr. Shakil Ahmed – University of Salford: Investigating Autonomous Traffic Management Systems

Second Floor Boardroom 1

Healthcare Robotics & Technology – Chair: Dr. Guowu Wei

  1. Dr. Henriette Muller – University of Hull: Development of Adaptive Rehabilitation Robotic Systems
  2. Dr. Samantha James – University of Liverpool: Robotics in Surgical Procedures: Advances and Challenges

Guest Speakers

Professor Kaspar Althoefer

Tip Growing Robots: From Bio-Inspiration to Tackling Real-World Challenges

 The field of tip-growing robotics, inspired by the way plants extend and navigate their environments, has advanced rapidly. These robots grow from the tip, allowing them to access remote and inaccessible environments with minimal disruption. This talk will explore tip-growing eversion robots, which are invaluable in applications like minimally invasive surgery and nuclear decommissioning. The discussion will include technical hurdles and opportunities in creating robust systems, and insights from the ERC Synergy Grant “EndoTheranostics,” which aims to revolutionise colon cancer diagnosis and treatment through innovative robotic solutions.

Karol Janik

The Role of Innovation in the Challenges and Opportunities for Robotics in UK Manufacturing

Despite the rapid evolution of Automation and Robotics (A&R) technologies globally, the UK has not fully capitalised on these advancements. This presentation will highlight the economic and social opportunities created by increased A&R adoption in manufacturing, addressing the economic, financial, social, technological, and educational barriers. The Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) aims to boost A&R uptake through innovation, collaboration, and advisory activities. An in-depth overview of MTC’s strategic innovation activities and the robotics adoption challenge in the UK will be provided.

Assist Prof. Marko Švaco

Activities at the Regional Center of Excellence for Robotic Technology, University of Zagreb

The Regional Center of Excellence for Robotic Technology (CRTA) at the University of Zagreb fosters advancements in robotics through scientific excellence, industry-academia collaboration, and technological progress. CRTA bridges the gap between academia and industry, contributing to job creation and competitiveness by commercialising research outcomes. This talk will showcase CRTA’s role in the robotics industry and its educational initiatives, including Croatia’s first Mechatronics and Robotics study program, preparing students for future challenges in robotics and AI.

Dr. Umar Shahbaz Khan

Navigating Tomorrow: Pakistan’s Robotic Odyssey

This presentation explores the significance and expansive applications of robotics, from manufacturing to healthcare. Highlighting Pakistan’s collaborative efforts across academia, industry, and government, it showcases tailored solutions for local needs in fields like agricultural automation and disaster response. The presentation celebrates the innovative spirit of Pakistani robotics pioneers and their contributions to societal challenges and economic growth, envisioning a future where robots and humans coexist harmoniously.

Dr. Guowu Wei

Using Bio-Inspired Design and Development to Improve the Performance of Robotic Systems

Bio-inspired robotics draws on biological principles to develop autonomous robots with adaptivity, versatility, and dexterity. This talk will demonstrate how bio-inspired design, exemplified by the development of anthropomorphic robotic hands and arms, enhances robotic system performance. Insights into how nature-inspired approaches lead to better design and development of robots for real-world applications will be shared.

Dr. Chin-Hsing Kuo

Static Balancing Design and Its Applications for Assistive Robotics and Technology

Static balancing design is a specialised technique within mechanism design that holds promise for enhancing rehabilitation and assistive technology. This talk will introduce the principles of static balancing and showcase examples from the speaker’s research on surgical and rehabilitation devices. The potential of this technique to revolutionise rehabilitation and assistive devices will be explored.

Dr. Sibylle Thies

Walking Aids in 2050: A Robotic-Inspired Approach to Fall Prevention

With the projected doubling of the older population by 2050, this presentation delves into the paradox of walking aids being linked to increased fall risk. Inspired by hexapod robots, the talk explores a novel robotic-informed approach to designing walking frames that enhance stability and independence, potentially enabling older adults to stay in their homes longer.

Dr. Olaoluwa Popoola

Connected Robotics for Intelligent Transport System

The integration of robotics with Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) is set to revolutionise urban mobility through 5G technology. This talk will explore the transformative potential of 5G in enhancing ITS via advanced robotic solutions, emphasising ultra-low latency, high bandwidth, and massive device connectivity. Concepts such as resource allocation strategies, computational offloading, and shared computation for smarter transport systems will be discussed, with insights from collaborative work with the University of Oxford.

Dr. Ali Kafash Hoshiar

Magnetic Small-Scale Robots Control from Individual to Collective

Microrobots are revolutionising minimally invasive medical procedures. This talk will categorise microrobots into tethered, untethered, and collective types, focusing on advancements in magnetic-based robotics systems for medical applications. Examples of individual and collective microrobotic systems for healthcare and agricultural applications will be highlighted, showcasing their potential to enhance precision and efficacy in various fields.

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Covid-19 Statement

Update – 11 August 2022

Our Innovation Centres remain operational and accessible, and provide a safe environment for our staff and customers. We continue to assess the risk of COVID-19 alongside the latest guidance from government. In the meantime our Innovation Centre remains COVID-19 Secure and fully open for business. Our detailed risk assessment can be found here.