Skip to main content
Menu

Prof Kaspar Althoefer
PhD

 
 
 

Research Funding

On this page:

Current Funded Research Projects

The National Centre for Nuclear Robotics (NCNR)

Funding source: EPSRC Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
Start: 02-10-2017  /  End: 30-04-2021
Amount: £1020239

Nuclear facilities require a wide variety of robotics capabilities, engendering a variety of extreme RAI challenges. NCNR brings together a diverse consortium of experts in robotics, AI, sensors, radiation and resilient embedded systems, to address these complex problems. In high gamma environments, human entries are not possible at all. In alpha-contaminated environments, air-fed suited human entries are possible, but engender significant secondary waste (contaminated suits), and reduced worker capability. We have a duty to eliminate the need for humans to enter such hazardous environments wherever technologically possible. Hence, nuclear robots will typically be remote from human controllers, creating significant opportunities for advanced telepresence. However, limited bandwidth and situational awareness demand increased intelligence and autonomous control capabilities on the robot, especially for performing complex manipulations. Shared control, where both human and AI collaboratively control the robot, will be critical because i) safety-critical environments demand a human in the loop, however ii) complex remote actions are too difficult for a human to perform reliably and efficiently.

Previous Funded Research Projects

WormBot

Funding source: Innovate UK
Start: 01-01-2018  /  End: 31-03-2020

In this project, in collaboration with our partner, Q-bot, a London-based robotic company, we aim to design, manufacture and validate robust, soft robots to remotely apply insulation below the ground floor of domestic dwellings.

Learning collaboration affordances for intuitive human-robot interaction

Funding source: The Alan Turing Institute
Start: 01-10-2018  /  End: 30-09-2019

iGrasp

Funding source: Innovate UK
Start: 01-10-2017  /  End: 31-03-2019

In this project we focus on developing the miniaturised tactile and proximity sensing capabilities for a low-cost and robust way of grasping. We focus on a system that keeps learning the best way to grasp a multitude of different objects. Starting from a good grasp configuration, our system will refine autonomously that configuration each time an object is grasped.

FourByThree

Funding source: Commission of the European Community
Start: 01-04-2016  /  End: 30-11-2017

A Better Way of Detection for Humanitarian Demining

Funding source: Find A Better Way
Start: 01-04-2016  /  End: 30-11-2016

Other Research Projects

FOURbyTHREE

Human Robot Interaction for the factory floor

CORSMAL

Nuclear facilities require a wide variety of robotics capabilities, engendering a variety of extreme RAI challenges. NCNR brings together a diverse consortium of experts in robotics, AI, sensors, radiation and resilient embedded systems, to address these complex problems. In high gamma environments, human entries are not possible at all. In alpha-contaminated environments, air-fed suited human entries are possible, but engender significant secondary waste (contaminated suits), and reduced worker capability. We have a duty to eliminate the need for humans to enter such hazardous environments wherever technologically possible. Hence, nuclear robots will typically be remote from human controllers, creating significant opportunities for advanced telepresence. However, limited bandwidth and situational awareness demand increased intelligence and autonomous control capabilities on the robot, especially for performing complex manipulations. Shared control, where both human and AI collaboratively control the robot, will be critical because i) safety-critical environments demand a human in the loop, however ii) complex remote actions are too difficult for a human to perform reliably and efficiently.