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Research News

Beast's day out- After the 2020 Strawberry season field trials was washed out due to the pandemic, we have hit the fields again in 2021. See the trailor of the Beasts Day out (September 2021) here!SMART project- Open position for a talented PostDoc/Research officer to work on a new Innovate UK project to develop collaborative robots for assembling sandwiches in food production lines (hit by the pandemic 

Many congratulations to Penny for being awarded Innovate UK and Prince's Trust Young Innovator award 2020/21 for her Project RoboNurse4NHS!! Robotics in social care will have great impact on society and more power to her project that builds on her PhD i.e CareOBot!! Hope both humans and robots cooperate in this adventure!! 


I have two fully funded PhD studnetships starting April 2021, details here-  Robot Skill Aquisition and Shared Autonomy, Bridging the Simulation vs Reality gap in Robotics - Get in touch if you need more information!


Funded by Innovate UK ISCF on transforming food production April 12th 2021 we will kick start an ambitious 2 year project called 'Versatile' that will explore Autonomous robotic harvesting of 'Strawberry, Tomato and Aubergine' in vertical growing systems!!!!! Verstile aims to bring in much needed 'Versatality' in Agricultural Robotics!! More info soon and cannot wait to start!


Tiptree strawberries from the eyes of a Robot-here!


 'Our streets Basildon App' for waste recycling developed by CSEE student just released on World Environment Day- info here!!


Watch my 'Talks and Tasters' Webinar on Robotics at Essex  here!


 Often Synergies are associated with Muscles and Actions with Movements- Read my new article on dexterous action generation in humans and robots that explores the opposite viewpoint. Really excited to receive peer commentary from some of the leading scientists from both Neuroscience and Robotics. Full article, Peer Commentary and my response can be found here


Our research featured in 'The Future of Food 2040' report of the National Farmers Union !!


Visit the Essex Plant Innovation Centre on 31st March for the Agri-TechE Young Innovators' forum- linkflyer 

 Delighted to receive a small but significant £45K strategic equipment funding to enhance the hyperspectral imaging analysis in our new agricultural robot 'Beast'!

Often Synergies are associated with Muscles and Actions with Movements- Read my new article on dexterous action generation in humans and robots that explores the opposite viewpoint. Really excited to receive peer commentary from some of the leading scientists from both Neuroscience and Robotics. Full article, Peer Commentary and my response can be found here

EPIC (Essex Plant Innovation Centre)  officially launched on September 20th)!! A full day of Cross disciplinary talks, brain storming and co-creation sessions to shape East Anglia's response to social, economic and technological challenges in AgriFood sector. 

School of CSEE Research video covers our work..!


SmartHort 2019-  My talk with Andrey Ivanov of Tiptree on Collaborative robots for Soft Fruit harvesting and Podcast (how to prepare your farm for Robotics and automation)

Our research featured in 'The Future of Food 2040' report of the National Farmers Union !!

July 22 - Our new agricultural robot 'The Beast' taking final shape with integration/testing  in the Essex robotics arena, see clip!!
May 17- Gave a talk at University of Leeds, Catching up with old friends, seeing some excellent physics based reasoning research with robots was an excellent break while marking (only) 400 exam papers! Slides here!
March 06 - Our research featured in 'The Future of Food 2040' report of the National Farmers Union !!
Feb 18 - Our research with Tiptree farms will be featured tomorrow in BBC World Service Click on the show 'Farming of the Future' !!
Feb 15 - Watch out for Penny's presentation of her Phd Project on 'Robotic Companions for Carehomes' at the House of Commons on March 13th (STEM for BRITAIN 2019)
Feb 11 - Our Vice Chancellor on how he is tacking challenges faced by the University, with coverage of our work in Robotics/AI
Dec 19 - University of Essex Review of the year (with nice coverage of our research)- See video !!
Dec 4 - Watch out for my talk at The IET  on Dec 12th for the Winter Celebration event. 
Topic-  'The Hidden Engineers- in Crows, Babies and Cognitive Robots', Location -Turing Lecture theatre, Savoy Place, London.
Dec 1 - Delighted to receive £80K funding though the fiercely competitive ProVC bid for equipment. A good amount for Christmas Shopping- A robot tentatively called as  'The Beast' will be a reality before the next strawberry season!!
Nov 19th - RT UK covered the work we do in our robotics arena, click on the link to watch my interview  !!
Nov 9th- Essex Robotics arena almost ready for the next round of filming about our research..!! More updates next Friday!
Embodied Action Generation, prediction and Understanding- Keynote lecture at Riseholme campus.Univ of Lincoln. See slides
Excited to work on a new 3 year KTP focusing on Adaptive motion control for next-gen laser cutting machines, that will kick off next month! We have an opening for one KTP associate- see Job Vacancy 
BBC coverage of Soft Fruit picking research- Our research on strawberry picking with world famous Tiptree farms was covered by BBC World, BBC One Look East, Telegraph, The Independent, East Anglian Daily Times and several other media (more info here)
July 30, 2018- Won the 2018 Excellence in Education award of University of Essex, for coordinating the inaugural Essex Challenge - that redefines the first five days in the university for first year students (see a short presentation here , the Essex Weekly  news ).  The 392 odd first year students who participated deserve the real credit!!
June 20, 2018-  New strawberry picking set up with UR3 robot and NeuralPMP controller up an running in Essex robotics arena (Thanks to the Strawberry season and Tiptree farms), ongoing work, but a short video here
June 15, 2018- Social Cognition for Human Robot Symbiosis-Challenges and building blocks- Just accepted in Frontiers in Neurorobotics 
June 05, 2018- Social Cognition in Babies and Robots- One fully funded 3 year PhD position available. See link for details, Deadline for applications 24th August. Its a great opportunity to work with  really intelligent babies and robots! For more details get in touch. 
May 05, 2018- 'Muscleless motor synergies and actions without movements- from motor neuroscience to cognitive robotics' accepted in Physics of Life Reviews. The article reviews around six+ years of work on dexterous action 'generation, imagination and understanding' in cognitive robots. Read highlights and abstract, full article coming soon!
April 18, 2018- Goal Directed reasoning and cooperation in robots in shared work spaces during assembly tasks- New article in the journal Cognitive Computation, Read Article (open access link)
March 31, 2018- Harvesting the fruits of future robotic labor- Interview to BuisnessTime Essex, read article
March 18, 2018- Science Sunday with Pepper at Museum of Power with around 400 young minds (aged 3-12!!!!), see a 30 second slideshow
From Thirsty Crows to Cognitive Robots @  Cafe Scientifique Public Lecture  (14 Feb, 2018)- see talk
One fully funded PhD position available: Theme-Cognitive Robots for Care-homes (Deadline- Feb 23, 2018). Contact me for more info. Details here
Robots in Care Homes- Interview to BBC One Look East on the use of Robotic companions for Social care (pic sent by a colleague)
 I gave a short talk on Robotics in Agriculture, at the AgroTech event involving farmers and agriculture experts from east of England (see talk)
October 9-13, 2017 - I was the coordinator of the first ever Essex Challenge event involving 370 first year CSEE students  (a crazy 4 min video shot by students upcoming). See a short teaser presentation of what Essex Challenge was....

© Vishwanathan Mohan

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