All posts by Hannah McGowan

New AI Research to Develop Self-Learning Robots for Nuclear Sites

Researchers have secured £1.1 million in grant funding to develop artificial intelligence systems to enable self-learning robots to be deployed in place of humans to hazardous nuclear sites.

It is estimated that up to £200 billion will be spent on the clean-up and decommissioning of nuclear waste over the next 100 years. Now, a team of computer scientists from the University of Lincoln will create machine learning algorithms to increase capabilities in several crucial areas of nuclear robotics, including waste handling, cell decommissioning and site monitoring with mobile robots.

Machine learning is an application of artificial intelligence (AI) which enables systems to collect data and use it to inform automated decision-making and make improvements based on experience without being explicitly programmed.


The Lincoln team will create algorithms for vision-guided robot grasping, manipulation and cutting, mobile robot navigation, and outdoor mapping and navigation. The aim is to build systems which can use machine learning to adapt to the unique conditions of nuclear sites, including locations contaminated by radiation.

A dedicated bimanual robot arm which will be mounted on a mobile platform is being developed. It will be operated using shared autonomy – where the machine is able to operate autonomously while still having humans as key decision makers – or via remote control. The team will also investigate the potential of augmented reality in the field of nuclear robotics.

The project, funded with £1.1 million from the UK’s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), is being led by Professor Gerhard Neumann with coinvestigator Dr Marc Hanheide, both from the University of Lincoln’s School of Computer Science.

Professor Neumann said: “Clean-up and decommissioning of nuclear waste is one of the biggest challenges for our generation and the next, and the predicted costs are enormous: up to £200 billion over the next 100 years.

“Recent disaster situations such as Fukushima have shown the crucial importance of robotics technology for monitoring and intervention, which is missing up to date, making our work even more vital.”

The Lincoln project is part of the National Centre for Nuclear Robotics (NCNR), a multi-disciplinary EPSRC RAI (Robotics and Artificial Intelligence) Hub led by the University of Birmingham, and also involves Queen Mary University of London, the University of West England, University of Bristol, University of Edinburgh, and Lancaster University.

Through the NCNR, more than 40 postdoctoral researchers and PhD researchers form a team to develop cutting edge scientific solutions for nuclear robotics, ranging from sensor and manipulator design, computer vision, robotic grasping and manipulation, mobile robotics, intuitive user interfaces and shared autonomy.

Find out more about the School of Computer Science, University of Lincoln, UK.

Prof Malizia to discuss Natural User Interfaces at School of Computer Science

On 23rd May 2018, the School of Computer Science will welcome Professor Alessio Malizia (University of Hertfordshire) as guest speaker.

Alessio_Malizia_2

Alessio is a Professor of User Experience Design at University of Hertfordshire and a distinguished speaker of the ACM (the international Association for Computer Machinery). His talk will be from 2.30pm -4.00 pm in AAD0W25 lecture theatre and all staff / students are welcome to attend!

Image credit: Prof Malizia
Image credit: Prof Malizia

 

Details of his talk are below. 

Title: User Experience: a step towards Natural User Interfaces.
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Abstract:
The road to natural interfaces is still long and we are now witnessing an artificial naturality.
These interfaces are natural, in the sense they employ hand gestures, but they are also artificial, because the system designer
imposes the set of gestures. In this lecture we will explore together the benefits and issues of Natural User Interfaces.
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Brief bio (in his own words):
Alessio Malizia is a Professor of UX Design at the University of Hertfordshire and a distinguished speaker of the ACM (the international Association for Computer Machinery); he lives in London but is a “global soul” and has been living in Italy, Spain and US. He is the son of a blacksmith, but thereafter all pretensions of manual skills end. Prof Malizia began his career as a bearded computer scientist at Sapienza – University of Rome and then, after an industrial experience in IBM and Silicon Graphics, moved on with a career in research. He was visiting researcher at the Xerox PARC where he was appreciated for his skills in neural networks (Multilayer Perceptrons) and as peanut butter and chocolate biscuits eater. He worked as Senior Lecturer at Brunel University London and as Associate Professor (and Spanish tapas aficionado) at the University Carlos III of Madrid. Prof Malizia’s research and teaching interests focus on Human-Centred Systems.
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He is interested in the design of Ubiquitous Interactive Systems with a special focus on the End-User Development community. He is particularly interested in systems where the physical and digital become seamlessly intertwined producing a new hybrid landscape and the study of problems arising from designing such complex hybrid environments involving collaboration of various disciplines and stakeholders. In his role at the School of Creative Arts at University of Hertfordshire, he is keen to develop novel approaches and attract funding for improving methods to design almost invisible interfaces embedded in a physical environment naturally exploited by users’ innate interaction modalities.
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Find out more about the School of Computer Science

School of Computer Science celebrates International Women’s Day 2018!

Today is International Women’s Day. In celebration of this yearly event, we met with some of our female students to find out the projects they’re undertaking as part of their studies at the School of Computer Science, University of Lincoln UK.

After being recognised for its commitment to advancing women’s careers in STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine), the University of Lincoln achieved a Bronze Award in 2014 as part of the Athena SWAN Charter.

In addition, the women in science, engineering and technology group (WiSE@Lincoln) was set up at the University in 2012 to coordinate and deliver sustained support, guidance, training and inspiration for the Lincoln women in science, engineering and technology. The WiSE group is headed up by the Eleanor Glanville Centre, an interdisciplinary centre for inclusion, diversity and equality at the University of Lincoln.

You can find out more about some of our female students’ research below!

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International Women’s Day ​​(March 8th) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity.​ ​International Women’s Day​ (IWD) has occurred for well over a century, with the first IWD run by the Suffragettes in 1911.​ IWD belongs to all groups collectively everywhere. IWD is not country, group or organisation specific.

www.internationalwomensday.com

Join in the discussion on Twitter using #IWD2018

Great success for MSc Computer Science Graduate at Lincoln

Mark Pastuszka, student at the School of Computer Science received his Master’s degree qualification and was also presented with a School Award, at the University of Lincoln’s Graduation in January 2018.

Mark originally joined the University of Lincoln, enrolling on the BSc Computer Science programme. After his successful graduation,  he decided to continue his education with the University, studying the MSc Computer Science course. Both programmes are currently accredited by the British Computer Society.

As well as receiving his Master’s level qualification, Mark was also presented with Award for Most Significant Contribution to the School of Computer Science – a well deserved accolade, Mark undertook a dedicated role as Student Ambassador for the School, along with many other supporting roles throughout his time at Lincoln.

Delighted to have been singled out for success, Mark said, “Now I’ve finished my courses, I’ve recently started as a Software Developer at Impero Software in Nottingham.
I know it sounds a bit cliché but, honestly, the past four years at the University of Lincoln have been the best years of my life so far- Lincoln has helped make me who I am today. It was a life changing experience, I learnt so much, found a career path that I love, and made life long friends.”

A huge congratulations to Mark and we will enjoy keeping in touch with him as his career progresses!

Our Computer Science Undergraduate and MSc programmes are currently accredited by the British Computer Society, and the University of Lincoln is also affiliated with the Institution of Analysts and Programmers – find out more here.