The manufacturing industry’s need for accuracy and repeatability in repetitive manual tasks made it an early adopter of robotics technology. Now, as machines become more intelligent and more autonomous, manufacturing robots are taking on more challenging tasks and working more closely with humans.
Claire chatted to three roboticists researching and working in manufacturing and automation: Dr Gilbert Tang (Cranfield University), Dr Paul Shepherd (University of Bath) and Dr Prasad Manorathna (Siemens).
Gilbert Tang is the Course Director for the MSc in Robotics at Cranfield University and he is the Robotics Course Development Lead for MK:U. He has been conducting robotics research for over 10 years and he has worked with a range of companies including manufacturers and users of automation systems. Gilbert is a Chartered Engineer and a Member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. He is also a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
Prasad Manorathna is a leading industrialist in the Robotics, Automation and Digitalisation sector in the UK. He currently leads the Robotics and Automation team at Siemens, in Congleton. Since completion of his PhD at Loughborough University, he has gained experience in the automation industry in various sectors including automotive, aerospace and electronics manufacturing. Prasad has a growing interest in industrial robotics, automation, digital transformation, smart manufacturing, artificial intelligence and machine learning
Paul Shepherd is a Chartered Mathematician, Scientist and Engineer with over 20 years’ experience in the Construction Industry. Paul worked for international Engineering consultancy BuroHappold, developing software to overcome the challenges posed by working with high-profile architects & clients on some iconic buildings. Now in academia, the aim of his research team is to facilitate the creation of complex geometry forms, and to use computational techniques to improve the structural and environmental performance, and the constructability, of the resulting shapes.