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We are developing robotic systems that will help us explore natural and artificial environments that cannot be accessed by humans.

There are many scenarios where exploration robotics have the potential to have significant impact:

  • Improved manufacture of complex engineering systems (aircraft, nuclear power stations, ships) through inspection and monitoring of inaccessible locations.
  • Improved surgical outcomes through developing technologies to monitor and measure patients internally during surgery.
  • To discover new knowledge of archaeological sites, whilst preventing damage.
  • Saving lives through quick identification of victims trapped within buildings following a natural disaster.
  • Keeping people safe by identifying unusual human behaviour for care and security applications.

Some locations are difficult to access due to their physical location or size, whilst others may be hazardous to human health due to heat, air pressure, toxic chemicals, nuclear radiation or human action such as in war zones. Others are difficult for robots to operate in due to the presence of humans.

Exploration robots are often small requiring miniature mechanisms, actuators, sensors and electronics. However, they all need the capability of operating at a distance from direct human intervention for long periods of time in the presence of incomplete sensor information and delays in communication.



Examples of our work

Academic lead
Professor Rob Richardson
Robotics Facility Director

Research team
Dr Abbas Dehghani
Dr Jordan Boyle




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