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Robotics Research Focuses on Machine Vision

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The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), the U.K.'s main agency for funding research in engineering and the physical sciences, has established two program grants worth a total of £10.8 million ($11.5 million) to support major robotics research projects featuring machine vision and sensor technology.

A team at Imperial College London will use the funding to develop advanced surgical micro-robotics, while researchers at the University of Manchester will design and produce robotics technologies capable of operating autonomously within hazardous radioactive environments.

With a grant of £6.2 million ($6.6 million), the Imperial College London team will establish platform technologies to assist in the development of sophisticated micro-instruments integrated with imaging, sensing and robotic assistance for use in minimally invasive surgery. Particular focus will be given to in vivo microscopic imaging and sensing, along with intra-operative vision and navigation. The project aims to care for the aging population in their own homes.

Funding of £4.7 million ($5 million) will be used by the University of Manchester, in collaboration with the University of Birmingham and the University of West England, to address nuclear industry challenges by developing new robotics and autonomous systems that are able to operate autonomously and effectively in hazardous radioactive environments. The collaboration will develop robots with improved processing power, sensing and communication equipment. Systems will also be produced to address grasping, manipulation, computer vision and perception challenges

“This program of work will enable us to fundamentally improve reliability, availability and serviceability capabilities, allowing technologies to be reliably deployed into harsh environments, keeping humans away from the dangers of radiation,” said professor Barry Lennox, project leader at the University of Manchester. “If we are to be realistic about clearing up contaminated sites, then we have to invest in this type of technology.” 

EPSRC is a British research council that provides government funding for research in engineering and the physical sciences, mainly to universities in the U.K.
Mar 2017
machine vision
Interpretation of an image of an object or scene through the use of optical noncontact sensing mechanisms for the purpose of obtaining information and/or controlling machines or processes.
imagingSensors & DetectorsBiophotonicsmachine visionResearch & TechnologyeducationEngineering and Physical Sciences Research CouncilEPSRCUKUnited KingdomImperial College LondonUniversity of ManchesterUniversity of BirminghamUniversity of West Englandminimally-invasive surgerynuclearradioactivityroboticsautonomous systemsEuropeBusiness

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