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 vision of the Centre is to inspire and deliver disruptive research and innovation in industrial automation, robotics and digitalisation that will transform industrial resilience, effectiveness and agility, leading to sustainable productivity growth.
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 is 400 square metres of dedicated lab space at Loughborough University along with 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.