Engineering/Scientific areas within Robotics Engineering And Computing for Healthcare (REACH)
Research activity within REACH is focused on seven engineering/scientific areas and their objectives:
Accessible human-robot interaction and interfaces
The way in which human and robots interact is key to the successful deployment and acceptance of these technologies. We work towards the development of natural communication strategies through the use of vision, touch, and auditory cues. Apart from the communication aspect itself, we also pay attention to the means of communication, that is, to the interfaces that facilitate the inputs/outputs between the technology and the users.
- Mackey, B. A., Bremner, P. A., and Giuliani, M. (2020). Immersive control of a robot surrogate for users in palliative care. In Companion of the 2020 ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction (HRI '20). Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA, 585–587.
- Mackey, B. A., Bremner, P. A., and Giuliani, M. (2020). The effect of virtual reality control of a robotic surrogate on presence and social presence in comparison to telecommunications software. In Companion of the 2020 ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction (HRI '20). Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA, 349–351.
- Nwosu, A. C., Sturgeon (Mackey), B., McGlinchey, T., Goodwin, C. D. G., Behera, A., Mason, S., Payne, T. R. (2019). Robotic technology for palliative and supportive care: Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Palliative Medicine.
- Sturgeon (Mackey), B., Payne, T., Mason, S., and Nwosu, A. (2017). O-7 Robotic technology and palliative care education: the development of a ‘nao robot’ computer program. BMJ Supportive and Palliative Care, 7(Suppl 1), A2.4-A3.
We should consider the ethical case when we introduce AI and Robotics into any domain, and this is particularly true in healthcare settings, where users may be vulnerable and where our expectations of care are clearly based on our experience of human interactions. Our objective is simple; to enable stakeholders to express and attain their desires for a sustainable future for the benefit of the many.
- SciRoc: Smart Cities Robot Competitions
- Appleby, T., Studley, M., Moorhouse, B., Judith, B., Staddon, C. and Bean, E. (2018) Sea of possibilities: Old and new uses of remote sensing data for the enforcement of the Ascension Island marine protected area. Marine Policy.
- Sita, E., Thomessen, T., Pipe, A.G., Studley, M. and Dailami, F., 2020, July. Usability study of a robot companion for monitoring industrial processes. In 2020 5th Asia-Pacific Conference on Intelligent Robot Systems (ACIRS) (pp. 37-42). IEEE.
- Studley. M. and Little, H. 2020. Robots and Smart Cities, in How Smart Is Your City? Technological Innovation, Ethics and Inclusiveness, Aldinhas Ferreira, Maria Isabel (Ed.)
- Studley, M. and Winfield, A., 2020. ELSA in Industrial Robotics. Current Robotics Reports, pp.1-8.
- Van Maris, A., Caleb-Solly, P., Studley, M., Winfield, A., Dogramadzi, S. (2020). Designing ethical social robots – a longitudinal field study with older adults. Frontiers in Robotics and AI. Volume 7, Issue 1.
- Van Maris, A., Sutherland, A., Mazel, A., Dogramadzi, S., Zook, N., Studley, M., Winfield, A. and Caleb-Solly, P., 2020, March. The impact of affective verbal expressions in social robots. In Companion of the 2020 ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction (pp. 508-510).
- Van Maris, A., Dogramadzi, S., Zook, N., Studley, M., Winfield, A., Caleb-Solly, P. (2020). Speech related accessibility issues in social robots. In Companion of the 2020 ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction (pp. 505-507).
- Van Maris, A., Zook, N., Studley, M., Dogramadzi, S. (2019) The need for ethical principles and guidelines in social robots. In Tokhi M. O., Ferreira M. I. A., Govindarajuli N. s., Silva M., Virk G. S., Kadar, E. and Fletcher S.R. (Eds.) Artificial Intelligence, Robots and Ethics – Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference on Robot Ethics and Standards (ICRES 2019)
- Van Maris, A., Zook, N., Caleb-Solly, P., Studley, M., Winfield, A. and Dogramadzi, S., 2018. Ethical considerations of (contextually) affective robot behaviour. In Hybrid Worlds: Societal and Ethical Challenges - Proceedings of the International Conference on Robot Ethics and Standards (ICRES 2018). CLAWAR Association Ltd (pp. 13-19).
- Wright, S., and Studley, M. 2020. Technology and risk considerations in shaping future drone legislation. International Journal of Technology, Policy and Management.
- Team Leader: Dr Matthew Studley
Our objectives are to develop smart bio-inspired rehabilitation devices and systems and their testing facilities, to work with smart material and advances in manufacturing to optimise innovative engineering techniques, to develop assistive solutions for end-users and work with rehabilitation centre to validate their usage.
- Development of a Bio-Inspired Exoskeleton for lower limbs
- An Inclusive Digital Design approach in biomechanical assistive devices
- Agrawal, S., Giuliani, M., Etoundi, A., and Jafari, A. (2022). Physiological data measurement in digital manufacturing. In 2021 24th International Conference on Mechatronics Technology (ICMT).
- Agrawal, S., Simasinghe, C., Jafari, A., Etoundi, A., and Jie Chong, J. (in press). A de-risked bio-inspired condylar prosthetic knee joint for a robotic leg test rig.
- Etoundi AC, Dobner A, Agrawal S, Semasinghe CL, Georgilas I, Jafari A. A robotic test rig for performance assessment of prosthetic joints. Front. Robot. AI 8: 613579.
- Etoundi, A. C., Semasinghe, C. L., Agrawal, S., Dobner, A., and Jafari, A. (2021). Bio-inspired knee joint: Trends in the hardware systems development. Frontiers in Robotics and AI, 8.
- Glanville, S., Chong, J. J., Jafari, A., and Etoundi, A. (2022). Integration of computer vision in a testing facility for prosthetic joint inspection and performance assessment. In 2021 24th International Conference on Mechatronics Technology (ICMT).
- Hoh, S., Chong, J., and Etoundi, A. C. (2020). Design of a virtual testing platform for assessing prosthetic knee joints. In 2020 5th International Conference on Advanced Robotics and Mechatronics (ICARM) (576-581).
- Hung, C., Etoundi, A., Jafari, A., Matthews, J., Chang, W., and Chong, J. J. (2022). Mimicking condylar knee to design bio-inspired robotic knee joint based on magnetic resonance imaging. In 2021 24th International Conference on Mechatronics Technology (ICMT).
- Jena, A., Chong, J., Jafari, A., & Etoundi, A. (2022). Therapy easy: A co-designed hand rehabilitation system using Leap motion controller. In 2021 24th International Conference on Mechatronics Technology (ICMT).
- Sabau, P., Chong, J. J., Jafari, A., Agrawal, S., Semasinghe, C., and Etoundi, A. (2020). Application of machine learning towards design optimisation of bio-inspired transfemoral prosthetic socket for robotic leg test rig.
- Sabau, P., Jie Chong, J., Jafari, A., Agrawal, S., Semasinghe, C., and Etoundi, A. (in press). Application of machine learning towards design optimisation of bio-inspired transfemoral prosthetic socket for robotic leg test rig.
Our aim is to develop innovative high-level control approaches to the bring out the best of assistive robots. This includes two different approaches:
- collaborative design and creation of new platforms, in which mechanical designers and control engineers iteratively come-up with optimized solutions, and
- using advanced controllers to render limited functional hardware into intelligent compliant platforms.
To attain these objectives, we focus on the following primary areas of research:
- bio-inspired controllers: take inspiration from nature to create more natural and intuitive controllers for robotic hands, lower limb exoskeletons, etc
- intuitive multi-robot control: investigate new paradigms that will allow the cooperation and collaboration of multiple robots in a seamless way
- shared-authority: research on different levels of control in HRI
- adaptive control: create user-centric controllers for physically assistive robots that adapt to each person’s requirements and level of assistance needed
- impedance control: render rigid robots into compliant mechanisms by means of smart controllers to make them safer during HRI.
- Van Maris, A. Sumpter, L., Ruiz Garate, V., Kumar, P., Harper, C., Caleb-Solly, P. The case for an intervention scale to design the balance of authority for robotic assistance. ICRES 2021: 6th International Conference on Robot Ethics and Standards.
- CHARMED-MS - Objective Characterisation of Movement Disorders to Identify People with MS Likely to Benefit from Deep Brain Stimulation
- FitBees– Facilitating physical activity and exercises in people aged over 55 years
- MoDA-VR – Movement Disorders Assessment in Virtual Reality
- POEM – Pulse Oximetry from the Eardrum
- PoseCalib: Automated extrinsic calibration of a markerless 3D human motion capture system
- Supportive Surveillance? Co-design of automated timely interventions to enhance. treatment of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
- TEETACSI -Tracking Expert Eyes to Train AI for Clinical Signal Interpretation
- Child, N., Hanson, B., Bishop, M., Rinaldi, C.A., Bostock, J., Western, D., Cooklin, M., O’Neil, M., Wright, M., Razavi, R. and Gill, J., 2014. Effect of mental challenge induced by movie clips on action potential duration in normal human subjects independent of heart rate. Circulation: Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology, 7(3), pp.518-523.
- Di Simplicio, M., Costoloni, G., Western, D., Hanson, B., Taggart, P. and Harmer, C.J., 2012. Decreased heart rate variability during emotion regulation in subjects at risk for psychopathology. Psychological medicine, 42(8), pp.1775-1783.
- Drakakis, E.M., 2018. An implantable mixed-signal CMOS die for battery-powered in vivo blowfly neural recordings. Microelectronics journal, 74, pp.34-42.
- Hanson, B., Gill, J., Western, D., Gilbey, M., Bostock, J., Boyett, M.R., Zhang, H., Coronel, R. and Taggart, P., 2012. Cyclical modulation of human ventricular repolarization by respiration. Frontiers in physiology, 3, p.379.
- Ketteringham, L.P., Western, D.G., Neild, S.A., Hyde, R.A., Jones, R.J. and Davies-Smith, A.M., 2014. Inverse dynamics modelling of upper-limb tremor, with cross-correlation analysis. Healthcare technology letters, 1(2), pp.59-63.
- Reinecke, A., Filippini, N., Berna, C., Western, D.G., Hanson, B., Cooper, M.J., Taggart, P. and Harmer, C.J., 2015. Effective emotion regulation strategies improve fMRI and ECG markers of psychopathology in panic disorder: implications for psychological treatment action. Translational Psychiatry, 5(11), pp.e673-e673.
- Webster, M., Western, D., Araiza-Illan, D., Dixon, C., Eder, K., Fisher, M. and Pipe, A.G., 2020. A corroborative approach to verification and validation of human–robot teams. The International Journal of Robotics Research, 39(1), pp.73-99.
- Western, D., Weber, T., Kandasamy, R., May, F., Taylor, S., Zhu, Y., and Canham, L. (2022). Automatic report-based labelling of clinical EEGs for classifier training. In 2021 IEEE Signal Processing in Medicine and Biology Symposium (SPMB).
- Western, D., Neild, S.A., Hyde, R.A., Jones, R. and Davies-Smith, A., 2014, October. Relating sensor-based tremor metrics to a conventional clinical scale. In 2014 IEEE Healthcare Innovation Conference (HIC) (pp. 165-168). IEEE.
- Western, D., Hanson, B. and Taggart, P., 2015. Measurement bias in activation-recovery intervals from unipolar electrograms. American Journal of Physiology-Heart and Circulatory Physiology, 308(4), pp.H331-H338.
- Western, D., Taggart, P. and Hanson, B., 2010, August. Real-time feedback of dynamic cardiac repolarization properties. In 2010 Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology (pp. 114-117). IEEE.
- Yue, X., Kiely, J., Luxton, R., Chen, B., McLeod, C. N., and Drakakis, E. M. (2022). Passive impedance sensing using a SAW resonator-coupled biosensor for zero-power wearable applications. IEEE Sensors Journal, 22(3), 2347-2357
- Yue, X. and McLeod, C., 2008. FPGA design and implementation for EIT data acquisition. Physiological measurement, 29(10), p.1233.
- Yue, A., Kiely, J., McLeod, C., and Wraith, P. (in press). SAW based passively bioimpedance sensing for zero-power wearable applications of biosensors. In 2019 IEEE Biomedical Circuits and Systems Conference (BioCAS).
- Yue, X., Kauer, M., Bellanger, M., Beard, O., Brownlow, M., Gibson, D., …Song, S. (2017). Development of an indoor photovoltaic energy harvesting module for autonomous sensors in building air quality applications. IEEE Internet of Things, 4(6), 2092-2103.
Safety engineering and design assurance of robotics and autonomous systems
Healthcare assistive robotics are safety critical applications, and as such it is necessary to provide assurance that their operation will be acceptably safe during operational service. Safety assurance of autonomous systems is a challenging exercise, and our objective is to research methods, tools and system technology that facilitate our ability to provide safety assurance with confidence. This includes research in the following fields:
- risk assessment, safety analysis, and safety requirements specification
- safety-directed design, and safety technology
- verification and validation of safety (including simulation-based testing)
- safety cases and argumentation for robotics and autonomous systems
- safety standards, regulation, and certification processes
- safety auditing of robotic and autonomous systems
- Project proposals currently in development:
- (As Co-Investigator) Assistive robotics in dentistry (Principal Investigator – Dr Sana Alghareibeh)
- Strawman standard for robots in social care
- ESHA Methodology for Autonomous Systems in Healthcare
- AAIP: Assistive Robotics in Healthcare Demonstrator project within the Assuring Autonomy International Programme
- Support for SOCRATES Marie Curie PhD student training programme (2019)
- INTRO Marie Curie doctoral student training programme (2011-2012)
- Dogramadzi, S., Giannaccini, M. E., Harper, C., Woodman, R., Sobhani, M., and Choung, J. (2014). Environmental Hazard Analysis - a variant of preliminary hazard analysis for autonomous mobile robots. Journal of Intelligent and Robotic Systems, 76(1), 73-117.
- Eder, K., Harper, C. and Leonards, U., Towards the safety of human-in-the-loop robotics: Challenges and opportunities for safety assurance of robotic co-workers, Proc. IEEE RO-MAN International Symposium on Robot and Human Interactive Communication, October 2014, p.660-665.
- Harper C.J. and Winfield A., “Designing behaviour based systems using the space-time distance principle”, Proc. 3rd Brit. Conf. On Auton. Mob. Robotics and Auton. Sys. (TIMR'01), Univ. of Manchester Report UMCS-01-4-1, 2001.
- Harper C.J., Winfield A., Direct Lyapunov Design - A synthesis procedure for motor schema using a second-order Lyapunov Stability Theorem”, Proc. IEEE/RSJ International Conference Intell. Robots and Systems (IROS 2002), Lausanne Switzerland, October 2002, pp2085-2091.
- Harper C.J., Winfield A.F.T, Designing intelligent control systems for safety critical applications, Proc. 1st IET Int’l. Conf. on System Safety, London, June 2006, pp71-80.
- Harper C.J., Winfield A.F.T. A methodology for provably stable behaviour-based intelligent control, Robotics and Autonomous Systems, Vol.54 (2006) pp52-73.
- Harper, C. and Virk, G. Towards the development of international safety standards for human robot interaction. International Journal of Social Robotics, Vol.2 (2010) pp229-234.
- Harper, C., Giannaccini, M.-E., Woodman, R., Dogramadzi, S., Pipe, A., and Winfield, A. Challenges for the hazard identification process of autonomous mobile robots, Proc. HFR2011 Human Friendly Robotics Workshop, Twente, Netherlands, October 2011.
- Winfield, A.F.T., Harper, C.J. and Nembrini, J, Towards the application of swarm intelligence in safety-critical applications, Proc. IEE 1st International Conference on System Safety Engineering, London, June 2006.
- Winfield, A.F.T., Harper, C.J. and Nembrini, J, Towards dependable swarms and new discipline of swarm engineering. Proc. SAB'04 Swarm Robotics workshop, eds. Sahin E and Spears W, Springer-Verlag, LNCS 3342, pp 126-142, 2005.
- Woodman, R., Winfield, A., Harper, C., Fraser, M., Building safer robots: Safety driven control, Int. Jrn. Robotics Rsch., Vol.31 Iss.13 pp1603-1626, November 2012.
- Team Leader: Dr Chris Harper
Rehabilitation and user experience
“Any item, piece of equipment, or system, whether acquired commercially, modified or customized, that is commonly used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities.” (The Assistive Technology Act of 2004).
Assistive devices are playing a major role in field of rehabilitation and the field is ever so evolving. To understand their uses, it is critical to explore user awareness and experience. The objectives are to:
- explore the opportunities of assistive devices in the field of rehabilitation
- engage in inter-disciplinary research
- understand the users and health care professionals training needs
- Future Care Workforces: Scoping capabilities to leverage assistive robotics through co-design
- FitBees – Facilitating physical activity and exercises in people aged over 55 years
- Kumar P, Leake J, Brodie S, Molton J, O'Reilly R, Pearce A, Steele J and Caleb-Solly P (2021) Accelerometers-embedded Lycra sleeves to test wear compliance and upper limb activity in people with stroke: A feasibility study. Journal of Prosthetics and Orthotics. December 21, 2021.
- Kumar P (2021) Does the application of a Lycra arm sleeve change shoulder biomechanics in people with stroke? - A preliminary study. Journal of Prosthetics and Orthotics, December 29, 2021.
- Kumar P, Desai A, Elliot L (2020) Does the application of a Lycra arm sleeve change shoulder biomechanics in young healthy people? - A mechanistic study. Journal of Prosthetics and Orthotics. 32 (1):32-37.
- Kumar, P. (2019). The effects of lycra arm sleeve on glenohumeral subluxation in poststroke hemiplegia - A preliminary study. Journal of Prosthetics and Orthotics, 31(1), 70-75.
Robotics Engineering And Computing for Healthcare
We research robotics technologies, intelligent sensors and machine learning to realise person-focused innovative healthcare solutions.
Research centres and groups
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