Tag Archives: AI

New App Brings Lincolnshire’s Iconic Vulcan Back to the Skies

Bomber County’s iconic Vulcan Bomber will return to the skies over Lincolnshire this weekend (11th– 12th August) in an augmented reality app as part of the city of Lincoln’s RAF100 celebrations.

In addition to the various activities taking place, which will include aviation displays and a fireworks display on the Brayford, those celebrating the RAF’s centenary will now also be able to witness the legendary aircraft in action wherever they are using the newly launched RAF100Flypast app.

The Vulcan is the latest aircraft to be added to the app which allows users to create their own flypasts, capture and collect aircraft, view them in scaled augmented reality, and learn more about their technical specifications and history. The Buccaneer, Canberra and Lightning F1 are also being added.

The RAF created the free to download app in a military first this summer, working in partnership with the University of Lincoln’s School of Design, School of Computer Science and Lincoln International Business School to bring the realistic 3D planes to life.

Working collaboratively, academics from across the schools came together to develop the concept, game mechanics and design. They were supported by students from the schools who gained valuable experience in helping to come up with ideas, developing prototypes for user experiences and collating historical information.

Deputy Vice Chancellor of the University of Lincoln, Julian Free, said: “The iconic Vulcan has long been associated with Bomber County and it’s wonderful that this app will now allow people to enjoy seeing it in the skies once more.

Image credit: RAF MOD
Image credit: RAF MOD

“The team at Lincoln has combined their respective expertise to deliver a first class product for the RAF, and the project demonstrates the University’s commitment to its Student as Producer ethos, engaging students in real-world briefs.

“The app has been a fantastic collaborative project between the University of Lincoln, the RAF, and Harmony Studios, driven by the ideas and creative designs of our academics and students as part of their courses. It is a great example of how younger audiences can be engaged with through the use of digital heritage, augmented reality and hand-held devices.”
Lydia Rusling, Chief Executive of Visit Lincoln, said: “RAF100 Weekend is one of the biggest events for the region this summer. Visitors will experience an unforgettable programme of events, with activities in 13 different parts of Lincoln from the Cathedral down to the Brayford Waterfront. Lincoln’s uphill will be transformed for the popular 1940s weekend, re-enactments will be taking place across the city, along with music, markets and plenty to see and do for the family. To have the addition of University’s augmented reality app, alongside flypasts over the weekend, is the icing on the cake and will be an exciting and innovative addition.”

Air Commodore Chris Jones added: “The RAF100Flypast app allows users to experience the wonders of RAF aircraft in augmented reality, which is really exciting. The app is a fun way to showcase how the RAF has grown through innovation and technology, and we hope it will inspire the next generation of aerospace pioneers. Users are able to collect planes and find out about their history through the app, as well as being able to create their own flypasts. With the Vulcan now added to the app alongside the Red Arrows, Typhoon, Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and Sentry, we hope there are plenty of favourites to get the young and old of Lincolnshire excited.”

The RAF100Flypast app is free to download from the App Store and Google Play.

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Gregory Epps to Demonstrate DogBot at Research Seminar

The Lincoln Centre for Autonomous Systems (L-CAS) and Lincoln Institute for Agri-Food Technology (LIAT) will welcome CEO of React AI, Gregory Epps, and ‘DogBot’; a quadruped robot.

Gregory will discuss the exciting new robotic platform and the research behind it as well as providing a live demonstration of DogBot.

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The seminar will be on Friday 18th May 2018, 11:00am, in AAD0W25.

Everybody is welcome to join!

DogBot is a quadruped robot built for AI research, built by AI and robotics experts with an eye on the future. It breaks free from the need for heavy, slow and rigid limbs by utilising ultra-light carbon fibre and 3D printed parts to complement powerful torque controlled motors. The robot uses real-time AI control, resulting in lifelike control and motion.
React Robotics will provide a platform for academic researchers to test their control algorithms in the real world. We are introducing the DogBot to the market at just £19,995+VAT, and we encourage you sign up to be notified when the DogBot will be available for pre-order.

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.

Computer Science Showcase Success

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School of Computer Science students show off their final projects to industry leaders and fellow classmates in an exciting annual showcase event.

A Smart Mirror, a ‘Swords of Turing’ fighting game and chess lessons with a twist played a big part of the day-long event with undergraduate and postgraduate students in the Minerva Building, Atrium.

Senior Lecturer Bruce Hargrave said: “The event was a huge success. We had some great student projects on show throughout the day including postgraduate research, presentations and demo’s and it was great to see some local industry leaders getting involved in the day and giving advice to students too.”

Students created chatbots, games and other artefacts intended to ‘pass’ the Turing Test, under the title ‘Man or Machine? Can You Tell The Difference?’

Computer Science student Keiran Lowe said: “It’s been a really good experience and really valuable, because even though our project is in development, people who try the game have given us responses we might not have thought about. And because we have to programme each response in, we can add their responses to increase the knowledge base.

“It’s been a good event to showcase our project at, but also to test it on what people think.”

Watch Keiran’s project here:

Even Gadget Show presenter and University of Lincoln guest lecturer Jason Bradbury came along to see the projects in action. Jason helped students with ideas, encouraging projects to go further and promoting team work from start to finish.

Organiser Dr Amr Ahmed said: “This is another success and expansion over the last 4 years events. More guests and interests, better projects and demos, all made public in the Atrium for internal and external visitors.

“We are proud of our students achievements and annually organise such events to make opportunities for them to interact with employers and visitors to show their work. The panel find it more and more difficult to choose the winners at the end of the event. And they are looking forward for the next year’s event already. Some job vacancies have already been sent to us, from guests and employers.”

University Vice Chancellor, Professor Mary Stuart enjoyed the day too, adding: “What a wonderful event and so good to see all the work.