Abstract: Robotic systems can undertake inspection of difficult or dangerous to access locations. This talk will discuss exploration robotics including work to explore the Great Pyramid of Giza Egypt and Survey Glacial melt lakes in Nepal. The use of exploration robotics technologies to inspect and maintain city infrastructure towards resilient and self-repairing city infrastructure (e.g roads, pipes, bridges) will be discussed.
Bio: Professor Robert Richardson is a Professor of Robotics, in the School of Mechanical Engineering, University of Leeds. As PI and Director of the EPSRC National Facility for Innovative Robotic systems, he leads a major EPSRC investment to physically create robust robotic devices. He is co-Director and robotics lead for the EPSRC Grand Challenge to develop autonomous infrastructure inspection robots; and the robotics lead for the EPSRC UKCRIC Centre for Infrastructure Materials Performance Leeds investigating robots for inspection of difficult to access infrastructure and facilities to stress test robotic devices. Within the School of Mechanical Engineering at Leeds, he is the director of the Multi-disciplinary Institute of Design, Robotics and Optimisation at the University of Leeds (20 academics and 50 members). He is a Fellow of the IMechE.
He led the UK robotics resilient infrastructure strategic challenge event, on behalf the EPSRC RAS network that brings together international researchers to explore the area of robotics infrastructure research. He is lead author of the UK white paper "Robotic and Autonomous Systems for Resilient Infrastructure" and co-author on the UK white paper "Robotics for Emergency Response, Disaster Relief and Resilience".
In 2011 he led an international team to develop and deploy robots into the Great Pyramid of Giza, Egypt, that discovered writing hidden for 4000 years. In 2016 he developed and deployed autonomous surface water survey robots to map glacial melt lakes in Nepal, doubling the known mapping data of these lakes. He is researching into to a broad range of infrastructure robotics platforms including drone based technologies, novel ground robots including robots designed to enter bore holes in mines and other confined spaces. He is developing novel approaches to fabricate advanced robotic structures using hybrid 3D printing and assembly processes. In close collaboration with industry, he is investigating technologies to replace lost function in humans through the development of smart prosthetic limbs with embedded intelligence to self-tune and capture energy during the walking cycle and full body exoskeletons designed to work collaboratively in direct contact with humans, to enhance physical performance.