In 1987, the University of Salford was the founding site for the UK’s National Advanced Robotics Research Centre (NARRC). Since then, robotics has formed the major strategic direction in Engineering within the University, thus, offering the Centre the opportunity of leading collaborations with other research units.
The Centre - currently led by Professor Samia Nefti-Meziani - has strong national and international connections with both other research institutes and the industry, with specific regard to manufacturing and partners, particularly in the Aerospace and Food sectors. Salford researchers have been at the forefront of strategic national developments initiated by several organizations in different areas of interest including: the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAFF), 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). Also, the Centre participated to multiple international initiatives from the European Union. Currently, the Centre is host for two government sponsored networks in Robotincs and in Automation, as part of the DEFRA-sponsored Food Manufacturing Engineering Group.
Moreover, the Centre for Robotics and Automation has a strong history in transferring its expertise to students. Taught course activities at undergraduate level in the area of robotics began in 1995 and an M.Sc. programme in Robotics and Automation started in 1996. The M.Sc. programme links closely with M.Sc. courses in Intelligent Machines and Mechatronics. The current annual intake onto the M.Sc programme in Robotics and Automation is 12-15 students per year.
In addition to taught courses, the Center has a unique offer of different Ph.D. programmes towards Master of Philosophy (M.Phil.), Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), and Professional Doctorate (D.Prof.), with approximately 80-100 students involved in robotics research activities covering a wide range of topics and applications.