Center for Autonomous Robotic Systems (KUCARS)

PhD Student Shares Research at DEWA R&D Center

May 23, 2021

Khalifa University PhD student Yusra Alkendi shared her research in robotics and autonomous systems during a technical session on Sunday, 4 April, at the Dubai Electricity & Water Authority (DEWA) R&D Center, the research arm of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum (MBR) Solar Park, the world’s largest single site solar park located in Dubai.


During her presentation to the DEWA R&D Center researchers, Yusra presented some of the major research projects being carried out at the KU Center of Robotics and Autonomous Systems (KUCARS). 


She presented the center’s research activities under the theme of “Robotic Systems for Critical Infrastructure Exploration, Inspection and Maintenance,” which includes projects to improve robotic system localization, mapping, and navigation; 3D reconstruction and coverage path planning; and systems identification and control.


She also shared the center’s activities under the theme “Automated Systems for Assembly, Manufacturing, and Transportation,” which include projects to enhance robotics grasping and manipulation and robotics drilling and assembly.


Yusra’s presentation included major projects being carried out at KUCARS.


Yusra’s research thesis, titled “Towards More Robust Autonomous Perception and Navigation Systems in Extreme Environments” is of particular interest to the DEWA R&D Center. She is studying how to improve persistent surveillance of critical infrastructure using single to multiple unmanned robotic systems; how multi-unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) systems can be leveraged for improved maintenance, surveillance, and security tasks in solar power plants; and how to optimize aerial-ground robotics system capable of operating autonomously to perform maintenance operations with minimal human intervention.


Yusra is supervised by Dr. Yahya Zweiri, Associate Professor of Aerospace Engineering, and Dr. Lakmal Seneviratne, Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Director of KUCARS.


About KUCARS, Dr. Seneviratne said: “Robotics is a powerful technology poised to have a disruptive societal impact. KUCARS brings together a critical mass of researchers, with state of the art labs, to address some of the cutting edge R&D challenges in robotics. KUCARS has a strong international reputation and has the vision to be amongst the top robotics labs in the world.” 


The DEWA R&D Center brings together 39 researchers and focuses on four research areas, including producing electricity from solar power and other clean energy technologies; the integration of smart grids; energy efficiency, and water. Since its establishment, the Center has hosted over 24 technical sessions in order to share knowledge and promote creativity and development.


Erica Solomon
Senior Publication Specialist
23 May 2021