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Autonomous Systems and Robotics research centre

Autonomous Systems and Robotics

The centre's activities originated in 1987 when the University of Salford was chosen as the site of the United Kingdom's National Advanced Robotics Research Centre. Since then Robotics researchers have been at the forefront of strategic national developments initiated by the Department of Business Innovation and Skills (BIS), the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) as well as international developments within the EU. The Centre has hosted two government sponsored EPSRC networks in Robotics and Food Automation.

The centre houses a multidisciplinary group led by Professor Samia Nefti-Meziani with interests in autonomous systems and robotics and their constituent technologies. The group has strong national and international links with both industry and other research institutes. Our projects are closely linked with manufacturing and industrial partners, particularly in the Aerospace and Food sectors.

The core group of researchers in the laboratory includes over a dozen graduate students and three senior academic research members. This centre holds the academic (national and international) Master programmes in Robotics and Automation and Embedded systems.

Working with us 

The Centre is always keen to hear from students and researchers interested in robotics and autonomous systems at the University of Salford. Please do contact us if you would like to work with us. For further details on current and recent vacancies, please see our vacancies page.

We are currently advertising a funded post for a Career Development Research Fellow looking at assistive robotics systems for cognitive impairment. For further details, see here

The Centre for Autonomous Systems and Advanced Robotics in the School for Computing Science and Engineering is advertising a 5 year Research Fellow post, with the focus on the use of robotics and autonomous systems to tackle challenges encountered by dementia sufferers. The successful candidate will work closely with the recently established Salford Institute for Dementia which has the overarching objective of generating and disseminating evidence to enable people to live well with dementia.

This is one of a limited number of career development posts offered by Salford for researchers in highly strategic areas for the University. Applicants are expected to be exceptional scientists who are in the early stages of their research career and have the potential to become leaders in their field. Applicants must, therefore, be able to demonstrate an outstanding contribution to robotics and autonomous systems and have a clear and ambitious plan for their career development; the successful Fellow will also be expected to apply for external funding, contribute to REF2020, and be a strong candidate for a permanent post in the University at the end of the Fellowship.

Informal enquiries can be made to the Head of the Research Centre, Professor Samia Nefti-Meziani (s.nefti-meziani@salford.ac.uk)

Current Major Projects 

The Marie Curie Initial Training Network, SMART-E (Sustainable Manufacturing through Advanced Robotics Training in Europe), coordinated by the University of Salford, has launched a new European research and training programme on Advanced Robotics under the European Union programme FP7-PEOPLE-2013-ITN with a total budget of approximately €4 million. SMART-E will develop a leading European Doctoral Training programme, training 15 high calibre Researchers in the areas of Dexterous, Soft and Compliant Robotics in Manufacturing; Reconfigurable and Logistics Robotics; and Safety & Human Robot Interaction.

Coordinated by Prof Samia Nefti-Meziani, SMART-E brings together a team of world-renowned experts in robotics from leading universities in the UK, Germany, Italy and Switzerland ((University of Salford, University of Sheffield, Technical University of Munich, Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna, Italian Institute of Technology,University of Zurich) and a world leading manufacturers and end users of Automation in the Aerospace and Food sectors including FESTO, AIRBUS and the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC). The team is supported by a number of additional leading Universities, research laboratories and industries as associated partners.

For more details please visit the SMART-E website


The Autonomous Systems & Robotics Research Centre holds the leading role in Autonomous mission planning and management, task allocation, hybrid optimisation, and intelligent decision making in the GAMMA Programme (Growing Autonomous Mission Management Applications).

Lead Partners in this programme include North West Aerospace Alliance (NWAA) and BAE Systems, together with the Universities of Salford, Manchester, Lancaster, Liverpool, UCLAN, Liverpool (including the Virtual Engineering Centre), and National Nuclear Laboratories.

GAMMA is a three year £9.1 million Autonomous Systems programme aimed at driving SME engagement and developing technology within the emerging autonomous systems markets. GAMMA technology areas of interest include data management, image processing, sensing and communication and mission planning and management.