Robotic arms

The Intelligent Automation Centre is based within the School of Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering at Loughborough University. We work closely with other universities, industry partners and the Catapult Network to deliver transformative research and innovation.

Most modern industrial systems continue to rely heavily on the dexterity and flexibility of manual work. Intelligent automation would be a better alternative to many elements of human work by improving operational efficiency and removing the need for people to carry out tasks in unhealthy, difficult or dangerous working conditions. This will enable companies to grow and skilled workers to be redeployed into other more rewarding tasks. This should bring substantial economic benefits, enabling manufacturers to continue or return to producing goods.

The Centre's vision is to inspire and deliver transformative research and innovation in industrial automation, robotics and digitalisation. Our aim is to revolutionise industrial resilience, effectiveness and agility, leading to sustainable productivity growth and well-being.

To deliver this vision, the Intelligent Automation Centre has established a unique pipeline from discovery through to industrial deployment. The Centre works in close collaboration with the Catapult Centres to develop and mature fundamental proof of concept work originated in the Centre to create exploitable solutions that reach a wide range of industrial companies. This continuous pipeline is central to the success and value of the Centre and is unique within the UK.

The Intelligent Automation Centre has recently moved across campus into a brand new purpose-built lab and has access to state of the art research facilities. Academics and researchers work with industrial partners, sharing their complementary expertise to develop truly multidisciplinary research. Resources include a range of large industrial robot arms, machine vision and motion sensing equipment supported by a high end computational infrastructure.

Strategic Objectives

The core aim of the Centre is to build the intelligent automation community in the UK by identifying and bringing together academics and industry in knowledge sharing relationships and engaging the engineers of the future.

  • Deliver world leading research in industrial robotics and automation
  • Fully understand human skill in industrial settings to create truly symbiotic human-automation systems
  • Produce world first exemplars of research solutions at proof of concept demonstrator stage
  • Broaden the take up of automation throughout industry, especially within SMEs
  • Maintain the highest levels of quality throughout the whole research and innovation pipeline
  • Take an internationally leading role, connecting research expertise with industrial needs to facilitate the digital transformation
  • Inspire young people to consider future careers in highly skilled manufacturing roles
  • Promote the further development of intelligent automation