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KUCARS research is focused on complementary themes, each hosting two broad and discrete projects.

These themes and projects address some of the frontier robotics challenges. They will address, in an integrative manner, some of the key technology challenges in robotics, including robust autonomy in dynamic and unstructured environments, sensing and artificial perception, embodied artificial intelligence, sense and avoid, GPS denied navigation, vision based control and 3D tracking, high disturbance rejection control, smart design, and human-robot interactions.


Research themes
1. Robotics for Infrastructures Inspection (R4II) 2. Robotics for Extreme Environments (R4EE) 3. Robotics for Industrial Applications (R4IA)
1. Robotics for Infrastructures Inspection (R4II)
Robotics for Infrastructures Inspection (R4II)

In this theme, the focus will be on autonomous, persistent inspection and surveillance of civil and industrial infrastructure, based on easy to deploy unmanned vehicles. The recent growth in low cost unmanned systems provides opportunities for new and cost-effective unmanned solutions for infrastructure inspection. This also allows continuous and repeated coverage of the target space, while minimizing the time between revisits. The theme will explore the use of multiple autonomous vehicles, operating cooperatively, to provide flexible and persistent inspection and surveillance solutions. The use of low-cost robots for infrastructure inspection has the potential for high impact due to the ease of deployment of unmanned vehicles to capture data continuously by executing routines for persistent 24h/7d monitoring. The use of this technology still faces open research challenges, particularly on how to analyse and obtain results from the data acquired in a persistent manner. The R4II theme will address some of these limitations, by focusing on key research topics related to robotics based mobile sensing, including the development of data analytics for effective use of robots in real life infrastructure inspection applications

This theme currently has the following projects:

  • Resilient Infrastructure Surveillance Based on Multiple Unmanned Vehicles (KUCARS sponsored)
  • Visual Multi-Spectral Semantic Analysis and Prediction using Unmanned Vehicles (KUCARS sponsored)
  • Navigation and mapping of a capsule robot for endoscopy (ADEK Sponsored)
  • Multi-Robot Coverage Path Planning for Large Structures Surface Reconstruction – (KU Sponsored – PhD Project)
  • Robot based pipe inspection (ADNOC Sponsored)
2. Robotics for Extreme Environments (R4EE)
Robotics for Extreme Environments (R4EE)

Robots are ideally suited for applications in extreme environments, including disaster response. They will play an increasingly important role in future disaster relief and have the potential to increase functional capabilities, reduce response times, improve first responder safety, reduce costs and improve persistence of response. Thus there is growing global interest in the application of robotic technology in extreme environments. However, extreme environments pose demanding technical challenges and the se of robots in such environments is still beyond the current state of the art. There are considerable technical challenges in robot perception, navigation and control that need to be solved, before robots can be effectively deployed in extreme environments. The R4EE theme will investigate robot based emergency response systems that can be used in extreme environments such as firefighting and search and rescue in collapsed infrastructure.

This theme currently has the following projects:

  • Collaborative Robot Navigation in Harsh Environments (KUCARS sponsored)
  • Robot Interventions in Harsh Environments (KUCARS sponsored)
  • Fire Fighting UAV (EMAAR Sponsored)
  • Semi-Autonomous Exploration for Robot Based Urban Search and Rescue (ICT Fund Sponsored, PhD Project)
  • Towards Robust SLAM in GPS-Denied Environments (KU Sponsored – PhD Project)
  • Recovery Strategies for Dual-Axis Tilting Quadcopters (KU Sponsored – PhD Project)
  • Ultra-Light Materials for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles under Extreme Conditions
3. Robotics for Industrial Applications (R4IA)
Robotics for Industrial Applications (R4IA)

The R4IA Theme will investigate research problems related to deployment of robots in challenging industrial scenarios. There are a number of industrial applications where the use of robots is highly sought but not yet possible with current state of the art systems. This is the case, for example, in construction automation (buildings or civil infrastructures), and manufacturing of large-size structures, such as aircrafts and ships. The R4IA theme aims to develop new design approaches, technologies and systems related to robotics platforms for industrial applications, paving the way for real-world deployment and impact.

This theme currently has the following projects:

  • Robotics for Manufacturing of Large-Size Structures (KUCARS sponsored)
  • Interactive, Human-In-the Loop Robotics for Flexible Industrial Automation (KUCARS sponsored)
  • Intelligent Slip Sensing System using Dynamic Active-Pixel Vision Sensor for Manufacturing Automation (KU-CIRA Sponsored)
  • Compliant Co-Work Robot for Safe Human-Robot Collaboration in Automatic Manufacturing (KU Sponsored)
  • A Parallel Drilling Robotic System in Aerospace Manufacturing (ARIC, Strata Sponsored)
  • Automatic Nutplate Installation in Aerospace Manufacturing (ARIC, Strata Sponsored)
  • Collaborative aerial manipulation (KU Sponsored – PhD Project)
  • Dynamic Vision Guided Robots in Complex and Dynamic Indoor Environment (ARIC, STRATA Sponsored)
  • Machine Learning Based Predictive Maintenance for Power Engine (ARIC, STRATA Sponsored)
External Collaborators
  • KAIST
  • MIT
  • King’s College London
  • Queen Mary College London
  • Coimbra University
  • SSSA Italy
  • Kingston University
  • Virginia Tech
  • UTS Sydney

External Sponsors

  • Strata
  • Mubadala
  • EMAAR
  • RTA
  • Earth
  • PAL Robotics