Position filled - Interactive robotic inspection strategies using unstructured data

Position filled

One fully funded 4-year PhD studentship is available in Edinburgh starting September 2015. Sponsorship will be provided by Renishaw http://www.renishaw.com/, a global company with core skills in measurement, motion control, spectroscopy and precision machining. Renishaw develops innovative products that significantly advance customers' operational performance - from improving manufacturing efficiencies and raising product quality, to maximising research capabilities and improving the efficacy of medical procedures. 

Document based 2D technical drawings rather than a digital 3D model is still the main format in a production-inspection workflow. This research is focused on using unstructured data such as the symbolic representations of geometric dimensioning and tolerance (GD&T) as input to conduct a teach-execute regime for coordinate measuring robots. There are no known interactive coordinate measuring robots with the ability to teach itself using unstructured data, generate an inspection strategy, and then to teach another inspection robot. The vision towards a more intelligent inspection robot begins with the process of recognising, extracting and translating unstructured GD&T information into data structures for robotic interpretation. This proposal outlines a 4 year PhD research project to extract inspection features along with GD&T information from unstructured data to automate robotic teach-execute regimes and the auto-generation of inspection strategies. The proof of concept study is to use a pair of robots, one teaching itself, with minimal human intervention, from a master part. The inspection instruction will subsequently be communicated to the execute robot which then autonomously inspect duplicates of the master part, reporting any deviations. In future both teach and execute robots could co-teach each other creating an autonomous, flexible robot-in-the-loop inspection system.

Applicants should have, or expect to obtain one of the following qualifications:

  • BEng/MEng/MSc in Mechanical and/or Manufacturing Engineering (or equivalent) 2:1/60% average or above.
  • BSc/MSc Computer Science (or equivalent) 2:1/60% average or above.

Other engineering, science or mathematical backgrounds studied to a suitably qualified level may also be considered. Computer programming and robotics experience is desirable.

This is a fully funded 4-year Home/EU RAS CDT Scholarship covering Home/EU fees and stipend (£14,057 for 2015/16). International students may apply but would have to provide top-up fees to cover the balance of the total overseas fees rate for the academic year (currently £16,120/annum for 2014/2015).

To find out more please contact:

Dr T. Lim (T.Lim@hw.ac.uk) or

Professor J.M. Ritchie (J.M.Ritchie@hw.ac.uk)


Studentship type: 
Industry sponsored studentship
£14 057.00
Closing date: 

Position filled

How to apply

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Remember to include the name of this project and sponsor in your application form.