Taqi Abrar is studying a PhD in Robotics at Queen Mary and is a member of the Centre for Advanced Robotics.
What is the subject of your PhD research?
The subject of my doctoral research is to make robots soft. Since robots around us are hard, I am working on soft structure robots so that if any human collides with the robot or vice versa, the safety of the human can be guaranteed. I started my PhD in September 2017 and so far under the supervision of my professor and with the help of my colleagues I have been able to present 3 papers on soft robots.
Why did you choose Queen Mary to study for your PhD?
I worked in industries with automated machines for about 4 years and during this experience, I felt that even with a lot of safeties and precautions, the chance of injury remained during the human-machine collision. So, after completing my masters I decide to do PhD in soft robotics and while searching I found out that School of Electronics Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) at Queen Mary had a robotics lab, Center for Advanced Robotics (ARQ), which is led by renown Professor Kaspar Althoefer, who is leading expert in soft robots in the world.
What challenges have you come across with your research?
PhD research is a long process, so I know I have to patient. I have come across multiple challenges and among them the worse is when I am unsure how to move forward with a project. Another challenge is when I get inconclusive results from an experiment.
Are you working collaboratively with any other research groups within Queen Mary?
I have had opportunities to work with other research groups and schools within Queen Mary, including the School of Engineering and Material Sciences.
How does your research centre support your research?
My research group is like a family and everyone is a member of it. My colleagues are supportive and friendly and they are are always willing to share the knowledge with me to support my research. While my supervisor also supports and guides me during my research as much as he can.