ORCA announces new partnerships



A research programme that is co-led by Heriot-Watt University has announced nine new Partnership Resource Fund (PRF) projects.

The Offshore Robotics for the Certification of Assets (ORCA) Hub develops Robotics, Artificial Intelligence and Autonomous Systems for the offshore sector.

The ORCA PRF enables the Hub to expand its current work into new areas with a clearly identified industrial need.

The new institutes will  further expand the expertise of ORCA, taking the current network to over 100 researchers.

Dr Lindsay Wilson, ORCA Hub Manager

The 2019 ORCA Call for Proposals received a large number of high-quality applications and, following a thorough and independent review process undertaken by an expert panel, nine new projects have been awarded.

The projects will bring an additional eight institutions into the Hub, as well as expertise from 14 new Co-Investigators. The projects will also create an additional 21 research associate posts across the UK.

Dr Lindsay Wilson, ORCA Hub Manager, said: “We are delighted to welcome so many new members to the Hub. The new institutes will  further expand the expertise of ORCA, taking the current network to over 100 researchers. These collaborations will help us in delivering future robotic solutions for the offshore industry through applied research and technology development”

Participating researchers will benefit from the strong interactions established within the Hub as well as the multidisciplinary aspect of the expertise represented in the current themes.

The PRF funding is intended to fund research activities relating to the existing strategic themes through an identified white space, innovative complimentary research or a collaborative project with an industry partner or partners. Successful proposals will work to advance the Hub's research and technology through clearly defined impact acceleration activities.

ORCA currently brings together five world-class universities - Heriot-Watt University, the University of Edinburgh, Imperial College London, the University of Oxford and the University of Liverpool - and over thirty industry partners, who together will revolutionise Asset Integrity Management for cheaper, safer and more efficient production.

ORCA PRF Projects

Project Name: HUDSON: Harvesting of Underwater Data from SensOr Networks

Lead Investigator & Institution: Dr Catherine Harris, National Oceanography Centre

Partner Institutions: University of Oxford, Heriot-Watt University, Newcastle University

Project Name: ROBMAN: Robust Robotic Manipulation of Physical Structures Under Water

Lead Investigator & Institution: Dr. Mustafa Suphi Erden, Heriot-Watt University

Partner Institutions: Glasgow Caledonian University

Project Name: Multi-Sensory Robot Skin to Monitor Water Quality in Harsh Environments (MUSES)

Lead Investigator & Institution: Prof. Ravinder Dahiya, University of Glasgow

Partner Institutions: Heriot-Watt University

Project Name: Rigorous Graphical Explainable AI for Higher-Risk Applications

Lead Investigator & Institution: Prof. Mike Chantler, Heriot-Watt University

Partner Institutions: Edinburgh Napier University

Project Name: Swift, Reactive Aerial & Ground Inspection of Industrial Facilities (SWIFT)

Lead Investigator & Institution: Dr. Maurice Fallon, University of Oxford

Partner Institutions: Imperial College London

Project Name: Towards the Accountable and Explainable Learning-enabled Autonomous Robotic Systems

Lead Investigator & Institution: Dr. Wenjie Ruan, Lancaster University

Partner Institutions: University of Liverpool

Project Name: COVE: Continual Verification and Assurance of Robotic Systems under Uncertainty

Lead Investigator & Institution: Dr. Radu Calinescu, University of York

Partner Institutions: Heriot-Watt University

Project Name: Mixed-Reality Enhanced Telepresence for Remote Inspection and Monitoring with Multiple Aerial Robots

Lead Investigator & Institution: Dr Hai-Nguyen (Hann) Nguyen and Dr. Mirko Kovac, Imperial College London

Partner Institutions: University College London

Project Name: High-speed Under-water Communication with Advanced Modulation and Signal Processing Technology

Lead Investigator & Institution: Dr. Xu Wang, Heriot-Watt University

Susan Kerr

Communications Officer

T: 0131 451 3242

E: susan.kerr@hw.ac.uk