The Centre has 120 academic and research staff, spanning the University's Schools of Engineering and Natural Sciences, with strong ties to health, social science and the arts.
We maintain a portfolio of around 30 research projects with a value totalling over £35m, funded by EPSRC, InnovateUK, European Commission, RAEng and industry.
With a distinctive focus on integrating robotics and AI research, and a breadth of application domains ranging from nuclear robotics to trustworthy and verifiable autonomous systems to human-robot interaction for social and healthcare, the research we undertake puts our Centre at the forefront of UK and international investment priority areas.
Our key research themes
Platform design, mechatronics and control
Design of new sensing and actuator technologies, the development of novel robot platforms, and research on control methods. The work also focuses on bio-inspired solutions to mechatronics and control, e.g. with the design of biomimetic sensors, actuators and robot platforms and with swarm intelligence approaches for distributed control.
Verification, security and trust
Design of novel formal techniques, software engineering and AI methodologies for verification in autonomous systems, cybersecurity methods for distributed software architectures, and the wider issues for trustworthy autonomous systems.
Human-robot interaction and cognitive robotics
Research issues in human-robot interaction and collaboration. This includes novel approaches to joint action and control, telerobotics, intention reading, language and communication, trust, human-robot teamwork and explainable AI. This theme includes work on the use of cognitive- and brain-inspired approaches to robot control, learning and interaction.
AI, machine learning and data
Development and application of novel AI and learning-based methods to robotics and autonomous systems. This also includes work on ML for vision. It also covers research on data science and machine learning methods for multimodal robot sensing and for data integrating robots within distributed IoT and ambient intelligence environments.
Ethics and society
Research in ethics and human-centred robotics issues, for the understanding of the impact of the use of robots and autonomous systems with individuals and society (e.g. loneliness), and the considerations of privacy and acceptability of RAS systems. In addition, this theme focuses on robot ethics, i.e. the use of formal methods and tools for ethical machines and the development of robot ethics standards.