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Automation for the Food Industry Research

The food industry is very labour intensive and as a result is under threat from low wage economies. To allow companies to remain competitive they need to embrace automation. Led by Dr Steve Davis you will learn how many of the challenges found in the food industry cannot be addressed by conventional automation and how advanced systems and grippers are required.   

Cognition Robotics and Autonomous Systems

We use the term "cognitive robotics" to refer to robots with higher level cognitive functions that involve knowledge representation and reasoning.

You will work on robots with cognitive capabilities, which are key elements to autonomous systems, such as perception processing, attention allocation, anticipation, planning, reasoning about other agents, and perhaps reasoning about their own mental states. Several projects are currently undertaken in this area in collaboration with psychologists and neuroscientist from European institutions. This course is led by Prof. S. Nefti-Meziani and Dr T. Theodoridis. 

Biologically Inspired Robotics Research

Dr Steve Davis leads this research which covers all areas of biologically inspired robotics. Future robots will move away from operating solely in factories and will interact more closely with humans. This will require a more natural/biological-like human-machine interaction. You will work with new design approaches and learn how they will shape future robotic systems. You will learn how traditional actuators have many shortcomings and how compliance can greatly improve the safety of human robot interaction, and also how these technologies have application in healthcare and rehabilitation applications. 

End-effectors and robot hands

Also led by Dr Steve Davis, this research area is concerned with the development of advanced end effectors. You will learn how innovative approaches can be used to grasp difficult to handle products. This course will also teach you how multi-fingered dexterous end-effectors, similar to the human hand, can handle a broad range of products, and how these technologies can be used in tele-presence tasks. 

Swarm Intelligence and Multi-Agent Systems

This research theme, as led by Prof. S. Nefti Meziani and Dr T. Theodoridis, concerns the development of an Intelligent Collaborative Behaviour using Multi-Agent Systems/robots using novel swarm intelligent techniques. We have introduced the irrationality theory applied in path planning, obstacle avoidance and emergent behaviours, using the Khepera robots (K-Team) and the Webots simulator. 

You will study and implement intelligent algorithms, which can be used for simulating viscoelastic behaviours for particle systems. Other relevant areas you can be involved in are crowd behaviour modelling, space and security robotics, and swarm and cognitive agents. 

Uninhabited Autonomous Systems/Air Vehicles (UAS/UAV)

Prof. S. Nefti Meziani, Dr A. Jones, and Dr E. Chadwick lead the research into how uninhabited autonomous systems (UAS) cope with unscripted procedures when conducting a mission where commands are issued at high levels of abstraction. It is designed around human-centric needs with the ability to perform tasks in accordance with instructions which lack adequate 'terms of reference'. You will work in autonomous systems that involve humans-in-the-loop.

You will:

  • Research the fields of robotics, mechatronics, automation and control, embedded systems, artificial intelligence, and machine learning
  • Undertake research around an area from your own profession and develop solutions that can be implemented in the workplace
  • Earn a doctorate-level degree to take you further in your current career or provide a gateway into a research career

This course is for you if:

  • You enjoy research and want to study for a doctorate-level award
  • You see the value of bridging the gap between industry and academia
  • You are a critical thinker, keen to push the boundaries of current thinking and practice

Course Details

Robotics and systems engineering postgraduate research is available in a range of pathways:

Master by Research (MSc)

  • One year full-time
  • Two years part-time

Master of Philosophy (MPhil)

  • One year full-time
  • Two years part-time

The School of Computing, Science and Engineering

The School of Computing, Science and Engineering (CSE) seeks to improve lives through proactive collaboration with industry and society. Our stimulating, industry-accredited courses and research programmes explore engineering, physics, acoustics, computing, mathematics and robotics. Through our award-winning lecturers, world-class facilities and research-led teaching, CSE produces highly employable graduates ready for the challenges of today and tomorrow.


Graduates can expect to find employment in a range of industries. Robotics and Embedded Systems are continuously developing fields that present many career opportunities in areas such as embedded systems design, robotic design, control systems design and integration, engineering management and research.

Students graduating with a postgraduate research degree are well-placed to lead and manage research and development activities in a number of areas. Globally, a postgraduate research qualification is usually a prerequisite for an academic career and several of our alumni are now senior academics.

Many of our research students advance to further study in closely linked areas in our Control and Intelligent Systems Research Centre and the Robotics and Autonomous Systems Research Centre. Previous students have taken their research expertise and knowledge into academic positions. We encourage the maintenance of links between graduating research students and their host research group and supervisor. 

Visit the Robotics and Systems Engineering - MPhil page on the University of Salford website for more details!




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