Professor Kaspar Althoefer
Professor of Robotics Engineering
Aspects of Robotics (Robotics I) (Undergraduate)
The module introduces the basics of Robotics Engineering and its application in various domains and fields. It will explore the evolution of robotics from conventional engineering perspective and also investigate the role of artificial intelligence and machine learning in producing future robots. The module will include both theoretical and practical aspects with emphasis on experimental exploration of the mechanical and cognitive concepts related to Robotics. A brief introduction to ethical and regulatory issues will be covered within the module to highlight the importance of societal impacts now and in the future.
My research focuses on
- Force and Tactile Sensing for Robotics
- Soft Robotics
- Stiffness-controllable Robot Structures
- Neuro-Fuzzy Techniques for the Classification of Sensor Signals
- Manipulation and Grasping
- Intelligent Techniques for the Interpretation of Quadrupole Resonance Signals
I am particularly interested in applying the outcomes of my research to:
- Minimally Invasive Surgery, Robot-Assisted Minimally Invasive Surgery (Financial Times Interview)
- Human-Robot Interaction in the Manufacturing Sector
- Landmine Detection
- Medicine Authentication
In the run-up to the 2014 REF, Professor Althoefer was the head of the task force preparing the response for Kings Informatics; the Department moved up considerably from a mid-table position in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise to 12th position in the country according to the 2014 REF GPA.
His current research interests are in the areas of robot autonomy, soft robotics, modelling of tool-environment interaction dynamics, sensing and neuro-fuzzy-based sensor signal classification with applications in robot-assisted minimally invasive surgery, rehabilitation, assistive technologies and human-robot interactions in the manufacturing environment.
He was awarded more than £ 4.8 Million in competitive research funding from funding bodies such as the Wellcome Trust, EPSRC and the European Commission; he strongly contributed to the attainment of further grants in excess of £ 20 Million, especially through collaboration with colleagues at St Thomas Hospital London focusing on creating robotic solutions for the healthcare sector. Prof Althoefer was the coordinator of two EU projects (STIFF-FLOP and CONPHIRMER), and PI/Co-I on numerous further EU, EPSRC and industry-sponsored projects. He is currently the PI / Co-I of EU projects FourByThree and SQUIRREL and a project on landmine detection sensors funded by charity FABW (Find a Better Way), co-founded by Sir Bobby Charlton.
Prof Althoefer has authored/co-authored more than 200 peer-reviewed papers. The majority of his journal papers (over 60%) are in the top journals of the field, including top transactions and journals of the IEEE and ASME and proceedings of the leading national learned societies in the field, IMechE and IET. He is named inventor on five patent applications.
He was the principal supervisor of 20 successful PhD students. He is currently heading a team of five postdoctoral Research Assistants / Fellows and six PhD students.