Tag Archives: Research

BAXTER Taught-In Activity

Take a look at how well our robot BAXTER is coming along.

This is the very first demo of our new Baxter robot using taught-in trajectories to manipulate some objects. Not much state-of-the-art science in this one, but a feasibility study of what’s possible with off-the-shelf components.


Let us know what you think in the comments below

‘Cancer seeing’ technology is one in a hundred innovations to change our world

PRaVDA2 sml

A groundbreaking piece of medical imaging technology that could revolutionise cancer treatment will be featured as part of a showcase of 100 engineering ideas that have changed our world.

A section of the PRaVDA instrument, developed at the University of Lincoln, UK, for enhancing the treatment of cancer using proton beam therapy, will be included in the Institution of Engineering and Technology’s (IET) new show wall at its Savoy Place headquarters in London.

The IET is the largest professional engineering institution in Europe and its show wall will be a celebration of engineering ideas that have had the biggest impact on humanity. Other items on show include an internal combustion engine, as designed by Karl Benz, and a mechanical television system, which was masterminded by Logie Baird.

The international consortium of researchers behind the PRaVDA (Proton Radiotherapy Verification and Dosimetry Applications) project is led by the University of Lincoln’s Distinguished Professor of Image Engineering Nigel Allinson MBE.

Funded by the Wellcome Trust, he and his multinational team are developing one of the most complex medical instruments ever imagined to improve the delivery of proton beam therapy in the treatment of cancer. The advances they have made in medical imaging technology could make this type of therapy a viable treatment for many more cancer sufferers.

The world-first technology developed by the team uses proton beams to localise treatment, causing less damage to healthy tissue.

Professor Allinson, from the University of Lincoln’s School of Computer Science, said: “It is an amazing honour for our work to be included on the IET’s show wall, and to be up there with some of the all-time greats of engineering innovation.”

The IET’s year-long show wall exhibition is part of a series of initiatives to celebrate the launch of the new Savoy Place venue in London, which officially opens in November 2015. The exhibition will include a layer of PRaVDA’s Proton Tracker Unit, which will feature alongside other pioneering innovations from across the globe.

The PRaVDA research consortium was also recognised by the institution in November 2014, when it won the Model-based Engineering category at the prestigious IET Innovation Awards, which recognise the best global innovations in engineering, science and technology.

Later this year, the PRaVDA team will continue its work by using coveted time on the South African National Cyclotron (a type of particle accelerator), near Cape Town, to try to produce a world-first clinical-quality Proton CT.

Meet Linda the robot at The Collection

Strands%204Visitors to The Collection in Lincoln can meet a very special robot during EU Robotics Week later this month.

Linda the robot, from the University of Lincoln, UK, will be guiding visitors to exhibitions in the museum as part of European Robotics Week from 24th to 30th November 2014.

Linda is one of six robots under development in the £7.2 million collaborative STRANDS project and is named after Lincoln’s Roman name, Lindum Colonia.

Researchers are creating mobile robots able to operate independently over prolonged periods, based on an understanding of 3D space and how this space changes over time.

Funded by the European Union’s Seventh Framework programme (FP7), the project team consists of six academic partners, a security company and an Austrian care home provider, where the technology will be tested for real.

The robots will eventually be deployed to run for an extended period of time so they have the chance to develop an understanding of how the world appears and how to identify deviations from their normal environment. The ultimate aim is for the robots to support security guards or staff in care homes.

As part of EU Robotics Week 2013, the six robots took part in a similar ‘robot marathon’ to see which could run for the longest time and cover the most distance.

Dr Marc Hanheide, from Lincoln’s School of Computer Science, leads the research on how the robots gather information about their surroundings, and use this learned knowledge to interact appropriately with human users.

He said: “When complete, these robots will perform intelligent tasks in care and security applications. Before that, we must ensure they can simply just survive without expert help in the real world. To challenge ourselves and our robots, we decided to run a robot marathon during European Robotics Week 2013. This was an endurance competition in which the universities who are participating in the project ran their robots for as long as possible, with the aim of them covering as much ground as possible. Linda won the marathon, and this year is taking on an even bigger challenge; running 24/7 in a public space.”

During her challenge Linda will also be gathering data to help her to learn how to become more robust in the future, which will include assessing how people move around her, and which routes are particularly safe and fast to take.

The technology used in the STRANDS project was showcased at a week-long national celebration of university research at the Natural History Museum in the summer of 2014. Linda was chosen to mingle with visitors as part of Universities Week 2014, a campaign which aims to increase public awareness of the wide and varied role of the UK’s universities.

See Linda at The Collection, Danes Terrace, Lincoln, 10am to 4pm from 24th to 30th November 2014.

Follow Linda’s activities during the week through live broadcasts at http://lcas.lincoln.ac.uk/linda and on Twitter @LindaStrands

First workshop for Performance and Games Network

The first of three workshops for a new research project looking at creating new videogames will take place this week.

Led by the Games Research Group at the University of Lincoln, the Performance and Games Network involves several researchers from Lincoln’s School of Computer Science, including Dr Patrick Dickinson, Dr Duncan Rowland, Dr Conor Linehan, Dr Ben Kirman, Dr John Shearer and Kathrin Gerling, working with Dr Kate Sicchio from the School of Performing Arts and Dr Grethe Mitchell from the School of Media.

The first session, which will bring together games developers, performance practitioners and academics, will be hosted by the University on 25th and 26th March.

Themed around movement and gesture based input devices, the core of the activity will be centred around a “hack” style event in which participants will work in small groups on design and/or prototyping exercises around a number of sub-themes and software.

Some of the sub-themes include mobility impaired performance; physical games in playgrounds; and audience and movement games.

Experts in the field will also be giving special talks. Guests include Ida Toft and Sabine Harrer from Copenhagen Game Collective at IT University, Copenhagen; Nick Burton from Rare Ltd; David Renton from Microsoft; and Matt Watkins from Mudlark.

The research group is also collaborating with Performance and New Media Professor Gabriella Giannachi, from the University of Exeter, and Arts Queensland, based in Brisbane.

The project is being sponsored by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) as part of a wider initiative to develop the creative industries and put Britain back at the forefront of creative technology.

There will be two more inter-disciplinary workshops in Nottingham, UK, and Brisbane, Australia, where researchers working in games studies, human computer interaction and technical aspects of game development will continue to work with developers and performance researchers/practitioners to prototype new collaborative game ideas.

Performer on keyboard