Pint of Robotics: A new in-person event, Muhammad A. Mohd Sharif; Rafael De Castro Aguiar, University of Leeds.

  • Date:
  • Time: 1800-2100
  • Location: The Library Pub.

Speaker 1: Muhammad A. Mohd Sharif (School of Mechanical Engineering, University of Leeds)

Title: Novel Wall Traction Generation Mechanism based on Hydrodynamic Downforce for In-Pipe Robot Locomotion Inside Active Water Pipelines

Abstract: It is estimated that around 3 billion litres of water are wasted through leakages every day throughout England from pipes that are reaching the end of their design life. However, although in-pipe inspection robots had been developed for more than 30 years for various industry, ageing water infrastructures presented certain unique challenges that make it unsuitable to adopt for commercial pipe inspection operation. With the push towards creating smart cities and infrastructure, the focus had also been shifted from the previously robust robot manoeuvrability to inspect closed pipe network towards continuous condition monitoring inside of active water pipelines. Therefore, novel in-pipe robot locomotion system needs to be developed to address the challenges of creating a smart water infrastructure. A novel wall traction generation mechanism based on the principle of hydrodynamic downforce was proposed to generate high traction to resist fluid flow inside of pipe. Various hydrofoil designs were analysed using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) software and designed experiments to assess effects of different fluid velocities, boundary conditions and flow velocity profile inside of active water pipes. The downforce to drag ratio generated was used to compare the performance of hydrofoil designed and to determine the feasibility of mechanism for in-pipe robot locomotion. The proposed mechanism would create sufficient traction to resist fluid flow without relying on traditional wall-press mechanism or pipe material dependent adhesion mechanism.


Speaker 2: Rafael De Castro Aguiar (Faculty of Biological Sciences, University of Leeds)

Title: Identifying muscle activity patterns in activities of daily living

Abstract: This study explores the neural mechanisms responsible for producing movement in our everyday lives. Seemingly simple motions, as grabbing an object off a table, are coordinated through the interaction of several central nervous system (CNS) structures, and corresponding anatomy. From cortical levels, down through spinal pathways, to muscles acting on limb joints, neural control signals are modulated to produce reliable movements. Movement is thus dependent on the neural controller, the limb joints as a biomechanical system and the muscles as actuators.
Here we examine, using non-invasive mechanisms, the central structures in the brain, which coordinates and modulates the muscle activity, in different static and dynamic scenarios. Muscle activity in the upper limb, kinematics and forces are recorded from healthy participants, performing motor tasks in minimally constrained environments. The identified muscle interactions and spectral temporal analyses characterizes both the movements produced and the neural controllers involved.