Fixed term contract until 1 March 2021 The Royal College of Art is the UK's only entirely postgraduate art and design university. In 2018/19 the College will have some 2,300 students registered for MA, MRes, MPhil and PhD degrees and over 450 permanent academic, technical and administrative staff, with more than 1,000 visiting lecturers and professors. The RCA Robotics Laboratory, recently established and directed by RCA's Academic Leader in Robotics, Dr Sina Sareh, develops new bioinspired technologies for robot mobility, manipulation and attachment in unstructured and extreme environments through funded projects by EPSRC, Innovate UK and industrial partners. Following the Royal College of Art's Strategic Plan 2016-2021, the lab is intended to create significant research and education capacity in robotics by 2020, to support the RCA's ambitious expansion plans in Battersea South including a new robotics facility and new research centres - the most radical transformation of the institution's campus in its 181-year history. Through the Innovate UK's "Robotics and AI: Inspect, Maintain and Repair in Extreme Environments" funding scheme, a research project grant entitled Multi-Platform Inspection, Maintenance & Repair in Extreme Environments (MIMRee) has been awarded to the RCA.
The enterprise drone market is ascending rapidly. Goldman Sachs estimated that businesses will spend $13 billion on drones between now and 2020. Promising commercial applications for drones range from emergency response and firefighting to surveying farmland and grocery delivery. However, as is the case with any new and innovative technology, there have been some speed bumps along the way that must be delicately navigated before broad adoption sets in. One of the most common speed bumps for businesses is the challenge of analyzing the vast volumes of data collected by drones.
To reduce Operation and Maintenance (O&M) costs on offshore wind farms, wherein 80% of the O&M cost relates to deploying personnel, the offshore wind sector looks to robotics and Artificial Intelligence (AI) for solutions. Barriers to Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) robotics include operational safety compliance and resilience, inhibiting the commercialization of autonomous services offshore. To address safety and resilience challenges we propose a symbiotic system; reflecting the lifecycle learning and co-evolution with knowledge sharing for mutual gain of robotic platforms and remote human operators. Our methodology enables the run-time verification of safety, reliability and resilience during autonomous missions. We synchronize digital models of the robot, environment and infrastructure and integrate front-end analytics and bidirectional communication for autonomous adaptive mission planning and situation reporting to a remote operator. A reliability ontology for the deployed robot, based on our holistic hierarchical-relational model, supports computationally efficient platform data analysis. We analyze the mission status and diagnostics of critical sub-systems within the robot to provide automatic updates to our run-time reliability ontology, enabling faults to be translated into failure modes for decision making during the mission. We demonstrate an asset inspection mission within a confined space and employ millimeter-wave sensing to enhance situational awareness to detect the presence of obscured personnel to mitigate risk. Our results demonstrate a symbiotic system provides an enhanced resilience capability to BVLOS missions. A symbiotic system addresses the operational challenges and reprioritization of autonomous mission objectives. This advances the technology required to achieve fully trustworthy autonomous systems.
The world's largest wind turbine is being constructed in Denmark following the completion of the enormous rotor blades that will power it. Just one of its three blades stretches more than 290 feet and when complete it will be able to provide power for a small town of more than 10,000 homes. The Adwen AD8-180 will stand on a mast more than 295 feet (90 metres) tall when its installed, engineers say. The world's largest wind turbine blade, the LM 88.4 P (pictured), has just been completed at a factory in Denmark. With a blade diameter of 590 feet (180m) it will be 33 per cent bigger than the iconic London Eye.
When it comes to wind turbines, the bigger the better. But one problem with building bigger wind turbines in the past has been that the structures become too heavy to survive in extreme weather conditions. Now a new kind of turbine design, inspired by palm trees, could allow turbines to be built taller than ever before. Scientists in the US have designed a new concept for wind turbines that would allow them to be much taller than those currently in place (pictured). Researchers in the US are designing a new wind turbine that will reach 1,574 feet (479 metres) into the sky - 100 feet (30 metres) taller than the Empire State Building.