Parallel Sessions

For our Future Perspectives session, chaired by the members of the UK-RAS Early Career Forum, we have nine speakers across three parallel sessions covering: Future of Robot Applications; Future of Robot Brains; and Future of Robot Bodies.

Parallel Session 1: Future of Robot Applications

Chaired by Xin Dong and Yongjing Wang

James Kell is the Robotics Technical Director at Jacobs. He is responsible for developing the internal robotics strategy and represents Jacobs both internally and externally in the field of customised robotics systems, predominantly for the nuclear sector, but developing the capability and leading bids for new business into wider sectors, such as the space and defence markets. Previously, he was an engineering specialist at Rolls-Royce for in-field intervention techniques for aerospace engines.

Azmat Hossain is a Business Development Director at Extend Robotics with over 10 years of experience in research and development of cutting edge technology solutions in multiple industries. He is an expert on robotics and is a proponent of human robot interfacing for safe, efficient and cost effective robotics adoption. Azmat is a graduate in Applied Mathematics and has received an MBA from University of Edinburgh.

Andy Norton is a Services Technology Specialist at Rolls-Royce. His expertise is in project managing the development of novel systems to perform inspection and repair inside aeroengines, involving collaborations with a number of Rolls-Royce University Technology Centres and Small / Medium-Sized Enterprises, as well as utilising a global Research & Development supply chain network.

Parallel Session 2: Future of Robot Brains

Chaired by Efi Psomopoulou and Marise G. Trigo

Rafael Papallas is a Research Fellow in Robotic Manipulation at the School of Computing, University of Leeds. His research focuses on physics-based motion planning and control for robotic object manipulation. He is currently working on a UKRI/EPSRC project for robotic picking and packing with physical reasoning. He received his PhD in 2021 from the University of Leeds.

Jihong Zhu is a Lecturer in Robotics at the University of York. He was a postdoctoral researcher jointly at Cognitive Robotics, TU Delft and Honda Research Institute, Europe. Jihong is currently an Associate Editor for IEEE RAL, ICRA, and IROS. He works on deformable objects and assistive manipulation.

Juan D. Hernández is a Lecturer in Computational Robotics at Cardiff University. Before Cardiff, he was a Senior Engineer at Apple Inc. (Cupertino, CA, USA), a postdoctoral research associate at Rice University (Houston, TX, USA), Robotics Research Engineer at TNO (Helmond, Netherlands). His research interests include motion planning algorithms and human–robot interaction/collaboration.

Parallel Session 3: Future of Robot Bodies

Chaired by John Oyekan and Wei Pan

Dr Ketao Zhang is a Lecturer in Robotics at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL). He is the Director of the Robotics Systems Research group within the Centre for Advanced Robotics. His research, resulting in over 70 papers, focuses on the design, modelling and control of intelligent robotic systems. He champions the robotics community through his Associate Editor roles (ASME Journal of Mechanical Design and Mechanism and Machine Theory) and other prestigious committee posts.

Hemma Philamore is a Lecturer in Robotics at the University of Bristol researching Artificial Organisms and Environmental Robots. Drawing on tools from soft robotics, bioelectrochemical systems and biomechanics, this includes: energy-autonomous and bio-hybrid robots, robots for environmental remediation, the physical design of robots to explore challenging natural environments. Her goal is to develop robots with a positive environmental impact and build robot-facilitated immersive experiences.

Amir Hajiyavand is an Assistant Professor at the University of Birmingham working on the design and development of automated systems, use of robotics and applications of Artificial Intelligence in various fields: general purposes, robotics for inspections and robotics for manipulation and micro-manipulations. He’s an Engineer with more than a decade’s experience developing novel technologies for various applications and collaborating with industries and universities all over the world.