Research Seminar by Dr Gionata Salvietti “Transferring human hand skills to robotic hands”

When: Monday 10th December, 13:00 – 14:00

Where: ATB2203, Alfred Tennyson Building (previously MHT)

Transferring human hand skills to robotic hands


This is an exciting and pivotal moment in the history of robotics. As the gap between theoretical research and fully-fledged technology continues to close, important advances from mechanical design to decision algorithms are enabling robots to reliably carry out more complex tasks than ever before, unlocking an enormous potential for new applications. Once confined into cages, robots are quickly entering in the user workspace at different levels. In this talk, I will mainly focus on intelligent human-centred robotics. In particular, I will show strategies to transfer human manipulation skills onto robots so to let robots act in unstructured and unknown environments both in autonomous and in a teleoperation framework. I will also show how soft robotics can enhance safety in physical human-robot cooperation and how this can be exploited for the design of assistive device and novel soft-grippers. Finally, I will focus on how haptics, and more in particular wearable haptics, can play a great role in connecting human and robots.

Short biography:

Gionata Salvietti received the M.S. degree in Robotics and Automation and the Ph.D. degree in Information Engineering from the University of Siena, Siena, Italy, in 2009 and 2012, respectively. He was a post-doc researcher with the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia from 2012 to 2015. He was Visiting Researcher with the DLR Institute for Robotic and Mechatronics, in 2012 and a Visiting Student with TAMS Group, University of Hamburg, in 2008. He is currently Assistant Professor at Department of Information Engineering and Mathematics, University of Siena. His research interests are robotic and human grasping, assistive devices, and haptics.

World Leading Engineer’s Proton Therapy Recognised by IET

An engineer who is building one of the most complex medical imaging systems ever developed has been recognised for his work by the UK’s Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET).

Nigel Allinson MBE, Distinguished Professor of Image Engineering at the University of Lincoln, has been awarded the J J Thomson Medal for his significant achievements in the advancement of electronic engineering, including his work on complex medical imaging instruments for the optimum treatment of cancer using proton beam therapy.

The instrument uses the same proton beams that treat the cancer to create three dimensional images of a patient’s internal anatomy. These images can then be used to help reduce dosage and targeting errors during therapy by showing how radiation interacts with the tumour site. Accurate proton CT images have been dubbed the ‘Holy Grail’ for this form of treatment, potentially making it a viable option for many more cancer patients, especially children.

Earlier this year, Professor Allinson was awarded a major new grant from the UK’s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) to build OPTIma* (Optimising Proton Therapy through Imaging), one of the most complex medical imaging systems ever developed. It will be installed in the Research Room at the new NHS proton beam therapy centre at The Christie in Manchester.

His team also developed the world’s largest CMOS imager for medical applications, which in turn led to the formation of ISDI Ltd – a leading CMOS design house.

In addition, his work on the transmission of fingerprints from crime scenes to bureaus is used by UK Police, reducing time-to-indent from days to minutes.
The IET Achievement Awards, which took place on Wednesday 14th November 2018, provide over £1million in awards, prizes and scholarships to celebrate excellence and research in the sector and encourage the next generation of engineers and technicians.

Professor Allinson said: “I am humbled to be recognised alongside incredible engineers and technicians for the work we do to advance the world around us. These innovations have the power to make an incredible difference to people’s lives and it is an honour to be recognised for my contribution.”

He joins 13 other winners who were nominated by their peers as leading engineers and technicians in their field.

Mike Carr, IET President, said: “We are honoured to present these talented individuals with our top Achievement Medals. They have each excelled in their professions and have made a vast contribution as pioneers of important areas in the engineering and technology industries. They should all be very proud of their achievements – with each award being extremely well-deserved.”

Find out more about the IET Achievement Awards here:

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Two Research Seminars coming up on Tuesday (28th) and Thursday (30th)

L-CAS and LIAT are jointly organising two research seminars by visiting academics, open to anyone interested.

Dr Mario Gianni (U Plymouth): Urban Search And Rescue Robotics: An In-Field Experience

Date/Time: Tue, 28/8/2018, 11:00

Room: DCB1103


Dr Mario Gianni

On June 2012, at Mirandola, a city of Northern Italy, hit by a tremendous earthquake, I supported the deployment of a team of humans and robots to assess damage to historical buildings and cultural artefacts located therein.

On September 1, 2016, I worked in a team which deployed two ground and three aerial robots in Amatrice, Italy, to assist the response after the 6.2-magnitude earthquake, which hit and devastated the town on August 24 2016, killing 234 people.

From these two in-field experiences, I learnt that robots have really the potentials to assist responders in searching for survivors, in rescuing victims, in providing the responders with situation awareness, in creating references of the destroyed environment, in sampling suspicious substances from sites, in reaching areas that are inaccessible for humans.

In this talk, I’m going to present the research work carried out aiming at achieving these goals.

In particular, I’ll discuss the challenges and present the proposed solutions concerning building and maintaining a persistent representation of the environment, planning safe motions and controlling multi-degree-of-freedom mobile robots.

These capabilities are paramount to prevent rescue robots to get stuck in rubble-filled environments.

Florian Lier (U Bielefeld): Tackling Reproducibility in Robotics

Date/Time: Thu, 30/8/2018, 11:00

Room: DCB1103

Florian Lier
Florian Lier

Florian will be talking about his recent works on ensuring reproducibility in robotics research, the infrastructure and systems he has developed to facilitate this. He will share some experience from building robotic systems, including his recent RoboCup@Home Pepper robot system, the winner of this year’s RoboCup@Home WorldCup in Montreal.

University of Lincoln Awarded EPSRC funding to Improve Equality, Diversity and Inclusion within the Research Sector

The University of Lincoln has been awarded £509,901 funding by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) to improve equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) within engineering and physical sciences.

The project forms part of a broader programme of eleven projects within EPSRC’s Inclusion Matters initiative, launched as part of the collective approach by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) to promote EDI.

The Advanced Strategic Platform for Inclusive Research Environments (ASPIRE) project will take place at the University of Lincoln’s Eleanor Glanville Centre, a dedicated EDI unit. It will offer an innovative approach to improving EDI within the sector, with a primary focus on long term behavioural and cultural change.

The project will draw together expertise from academics from across the University’s Schools of Chemistry, Social and Political Sciences, Computer Science and the Research and Enterprise Office. It will develop an evidence-based online toolkit to connect best practice with improved ways to measure, monitor and implement EDI initiatives for maximum impact.

The project is being run by the University of Lincoln in collaboration with Vitae, Oxford Brookes University, the Lisbon Council, Emerald Publishing, University of Sheffield, University of Kent University of Trento, Aston University, Coventry University and Towards Vision.

Professor Belinda Colston, ASPIRE Programme Director, said: The research sector has been striving for fully inclusive environments in science and engineering related disciplines for over 30 years. Despite substantial investment, however, broad under-representation and inequalities are still widespread. Reasons for this are complex and often system-wide, but ultimately reflect deep-rooted cultures and attitudes in the workplace.

“ASPIRE will develop a new and more comprehensive impact framework to extend simple metrics-based evaluation and measure genuine and meaningful changes in ED&I attitude and behaviour.”

Vicky Williams, CEO of Emerald Publishing, added: “We are excited to play a role in this project, both from the perspective of Emerald’s commitment to inclusivity and diversity in the workplace as well as our role as a publisher participating and communicating the results of international research collaborations.

“We established an internal group, called STRIDE, in 2015 to create positive change in the inclusivity and diverse leadership of the company. We will be using STRIDE to pilot the ASPIRE platform and really embed change. This tangible action is in line with our mission to support the real impact of research.”

Speaking of the wider Inclusion Matters initiative, Professor Jennifer Rubin, UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Executive Champion for equality, diversity and inclusion, said: “UK Research and Innovation is committed to furthering equality, diversity and inclusion for both our staff and for the research and innovation sector more widely.

“The Inclusion Matters initiative illustrates the ambitious, evidence-based approach that we will take across UKRI to strengthen equality, diversity and inclusion across the sector.”

The ASPIRE project will begin in late 2018 and runs for three years.

University of Lincoln, UK