In line with the mission of the Hamlyn Centre in developing technologies for addressing global health challenges associated with demographic, environmental, social and economic changes, we have an extensive research programme on assistive robots.

These include the development of mobile robots and navigation technologies for daily life assistance and remote presence (e.g. telepresence for remote diagnosis involved in specialist and community-based care, as well as social interaction for elderly and individuals with physical impairments), rehabilitation robots for physical therapy and post- surgical recovery, as well as wearable robots and powered exoskeletons for the ageing population and those who are physically challenged.

Research themes

Research Themes

Mobile robot and navigation

Mobile robot hardware design and low-power actuation schemes, as well as machine vision algorithms for autonomous robot navigation, including simultaneous localisation and mapping (SLAM), sound localisation in reverberant environments, dynamic scene association, and active vision for navigation in crowded environments.

Remote presence technologies

Seamless human-robot interaction for remote presence including gesture/voice recognition, attention selection in crowded environments, socially-aware/acceptable robot navigation, and integration with ambient and body sensor networks for remote patient/elderly care.

Rehabilitation robots

The development and application of active compliance robots for rehabilitation and post-surgical recovery, as well as assessment of motor recovery, training of visual-motor coordination for patients after stroke and those with neurodegenerative diseases.

Wearable robots and powered exoskeletons

Assessment of movement kinematics, muscle tone and muscle synergies and development of hardware platforms for wearable and powered exoskeleton robots with multimodal bio-feedback to improve muskoloskeletal strength, gait stability and balance, as well as innovative use of brain-computer interfaces for wearable robot control, online adaptation and learning.

Selected publications

Howitt 2012Johns E, Yang GZ
Generative Methods for Long-Term Place Recognition in Dynamic Scenes
International Journal of Computer Vision, Aug, 2013

Howitt 2012McKeague S, Liu J, Yang GZ
Hand and body association in crowded environments for human-robot interaction
ICRA 2013: 2161-2168

Howitt 2012McKeague S, Liu J, Yang GZ
McKeague S, Liu J, Yang GZ
ICSR 2013: 491-500

Howitt 2012Correa J, Liu J, Yang GZ
Real Time People Tracking in Crowded Environments with Range Measurements
ICSR 2013: 471-480

Howitt 2012Johns E, Yang GZ
Dynamic Scene Models for Incremental, Long-Term, Appearance-Based Localisation
Proc. ICRA 2013

Howitt 2012Proc. ICRA 2013
A Healthcare Mobile Robot with Natural Human-Robot Interaction
Proc. Hamlyn Symposium on Medical Robotics 2012