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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/V062158/1
Title: Made Smarter Innovation - Research Centre for Smart, Collaborative Industrial Robotics
Principal Investigator: Lohse, Professor N
Other Investigators:
Asif, Dr S Maier, Professor A Kinnell, Professor P
Lepora, Professor NF Webb, Professor P Eder, Professor K
Daly, Professor A Hubbard, Dr E Fletcher, Dr SR
Mehnen, Professor J Ceglarek, Professor D Franciosa, Dr P
Yan, Professor X Rossiter, Professor JM
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Agri-EPI Centre Airbus Operations Limited Arrival Ltd
BAE Systems Be-St Cambrian Intelligence
Chinese Academy of Science Claromech Limited CNC Robotics Ltd
Constellium UK Limited Electroimpact UK Limited (UK) Expert Tooling and Automation Limited
Fanuc Robotics (U K) Ltd Fraunhofer HHI Fraunhofer IPA
Georgia Institute of Technology GKN Aerospace (Melrose) HAL Robotics Ltd (UK)
HSSMI Ltd Inovo Robotics IntelliDigest
iRob International Ltd. KUKA Robotics UK Limited Liberty Produce
MAKAR Ltd Measurement Solutions Ltd. myenergi Ltd.
Nat Inst of Industrial Eng NITIE Mumbai Norscot Joinery Limited Ocado Group
RAR UK Automation Ltd. Rolls-Royce Plc (UK) Royal Institute of Technology KTH Sweden
Scorpion Vision Limited Scottish Agricultural Org Society (SAOS) Soil Machine Dynamics UK
SP Technology Automation and Robotics Spirit Aerosystems (UK) Stewart Milne Group
Sunamp Limited Teknek Limited The Manufacturing Technology Centre Ltd
The Shadow Robot Company Toyota Motor Manufacturing (UK) Ltd True Position Robotics Ltd
Ultraleap University of Patras
Department: Wolfson Sch of Mech, Elec & Manufac Eng
Organisation: Loughborough University
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 30 September 2021 Ends: 29 March 2025 Value (£): 4,821,585
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Design Engineering Manufact. Enterprise Ops& Mgmt
Manufacturing Machine & Plant Robotics & Autonomy
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
14 Apr 2021 ISCF Manufacturing Made Smarter Research Centres Interview Panel Announced
23 Mar 2021 ISCF Manufacturing Made Smarter Research Centres Sift Panel Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
The UK has fallen significantly behind other countries when it comes to adopting robotics/automation within factories. Collaborative automation, that works directly with people, offers fantastic opportunities for strengthening UK manufacturing and rebuilding the UK economy. It will enable companies to increase productivity, to be more responsive and resilient when facing external pressures (like the Covid-19 pandemic) to protect jobs and to grow.

To enable confident investment in automation, we need to overcome current fundamental barriers. Automation needs to be easier to set up and use, more capable to deal with complex tasks, more flexible in what it can do, and developed to safely and intuitively collaborate in a way that is welcomed by existing workers and wider society.

To overcome these barriers, the ISCF Research Centre in Smart, Collaborative Robotics (CESCIR) has worked with industry to identify four priority areas for research: Collaboration, Autonomy, Simplicity, Acceptance. The initial programme will tackle current fundamental challenges in each of these areas and develop testbeds for demonstration of results. Over the course of the programme, CESCIR will also conduct responsive research, rapidly testing new ideas to solve real world manufacturing automation challenges.

CESCIR will create a network of academia and industry, connecting stakeholders, identifying challenges/opportunities, reviewing progress and sharing results. Open access models and data will enable wider academia to further explore the latest scientific advances. Within the manufacturing industry, large enterprises will benefit as automation can be brought into traditionally manual production processes. Similarly, better accessibility and agility will allow more Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) to benefit from automation, improving their competitiveness within the global market.

Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
Sectors submitted by the Researcher
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Organisation Website: http://www.lboro.ac.uk