Highlights from our Annual Conference - October 2021

Our 2021 Annual CDT Conference took place on Friday 1st October when we welcomed 70 students, 30 academics and 34 industry partners to our online event.

CDT Director Professor Michael Mistry opened the proceedings by welcoming delegates to the conference and providing an overview of the activities of the CDT in the 2020/21 academic year.

CDT wins Equality Award

In recognition of outstanding work to recruit and support gender diverse students, the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Robotics and Autonomous Systems has won the 2021 Minerva Informatics Equality Award.

The prestigious award recognises excellence in the encouragement to enrol, and retention of, female students in Computer Science and Informatics programmes.                            

CDT Student Kai Yuan receives Rising Star Award

Kai Yuan, PhD student in the 2017 cohort, has received a Rising Star Award from the UK-RAS network. This award was one of four awards made, and it recognises excellence and achievement by the UK robotics and autonomous systems community during the past challenging year. 

Following an open nomination process, the winners were selected by an expert panel from the UK-RAS network's Executive Committee. After receiving their awards, the winners gave an overview presentation to the UK-RAS Robotics Summer Showcase attendees.

Avatar XPrize Semi-finalists

Members of the Statistical Learning and Motor Control Group at the University of Edinburgh in collaboration with Touchlab qualify for the USA semi-finals.

The Avater XPrize aims to create an avatar system that can transport human presence to a remote location in real time. Dr Vladimir Ivan and Professor Sethu Vijayakumar are part of the AvatarX team led by Touchlab developing a mobile remotely operated robot with a unique capability of touch combined advanced shared control. 

Paper published in Science Robotics

How to make robots behave like animals in nature is the subject of a long exploration by robotics experts around the world. Dogs or cats don't put too much thought into how they move. They rely on instinct to adapt to the changes in nature, jumping up and down in complex terrain performing flexible movements. But this is not easy for intelligent robots, such as quadrupeds.

Professor Sethu Vijayakumar interview with The Scotsman newspaper

In a recent article published in The Scotsman, Professor Sethu Vijayakumar looks at the potential of robotics in healthcare and explains how the latest advancements might be used in the fight against cancers or lung damage brought on by Covid-19. 

The following is a modified version of the article.  

Turing Lecture: Building Dynamic Robotics with Marc Raibert of Boston Dynamics

Over 630 attendees logged in to watch the full interview between Marc Raibert, Founder and Chairman of Boston Dynamics and Professor Sethu Vijayakumar, and to interactively take part in the live online polls and Q&A session.

Boston Dynamics are leaders in some of the world’s most advanced robots including Spot, Atlas and Handle. The company specialises in robots which can reach inaccessible areas and are able to move more quickly to get the work done faster.

ECR Staff to lead Research Nodes as part of the UKRI Trustworthy Autonomous Systems Programme

The UK Research  and Innovation (UKRI) has launched six new research projects or, “nodes” aimed at tackling challenges to the development of autonomous systems.  These are part of the Trustworthy Autonomous Systems (TAS) programme which will undertake fundamental, creative and multidisciplinary research in various areas key to ensure autonomous systems can be built in a way society can trust and use.

The Edinburgh Centre for Robotics has been awarded funding for two nodes: