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Overview

Experience

  • 30 years of experience in over 12 research areas in the context of robotics and automation, and their applications in the industry;    
  • more than 5mln GBP worth of research developed in the last 8 years;    
  • more than 3mln EUR worth of research in the last 3 years, with a +200% growth in year 2015;    
  • excellent capabilities in attracting funds from national and international institutions, including research councils in the UK, the EU, the US, and Japan;    
  • over 18 funded projects in the last 8 years;    
  • over 10 mln GBP attracted from over 50 research grants.    

Resources

  • over 500 m2 of facilities structured in 5 laboratories, including a Living Lab and a room equipped with a world class virtual environment facility (OCTAVE);    
  • infrastructure supporting research in robotics, automation, and in several other fields, such as, machine learning, computer vision, and medical informatics;    
  • equipment, including 6 industrial robot arms, tracking systems, haptic devices, and exoskeletons;    
  • a staff of more than 15 full-time researchers and teachers, including 6 senior researchers and 10 Ph.D. students, and more than 20 students who are engaged in Master and Doctorate programs every year.    

Collaboration network

  • collaborations with over 25 national and international industrial partners in different markets, including multinational companies;    
  • collaborations with over 15 Universities in 4 continents;    
  • collaborations with 10 Governmental institutions and councils;    
  • research collaboration with the military industry, both nationally and overseas;    
  • representation in the major world conference in robotics, including ICRA, IROS, ICAR;    
  • key member of 3 European robotics networks (EURON, CLAWAR and MACA);    
  • active membership in the organizing committees of the major conferences and 5 societies (IEEE, IEE, IFAC, IFR, and BARA).    

History

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.