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Making the Connections 5: Meet the Soft Systems group at the University of Edinburgh

In our latest of the team profiles, we met up with the Soft Systems group at the University of Edinburgh, headed up by Dr Adam A. Stokes. The group are an academic partner of the Connect-R project, through their researching and providing expertise in the control, design, and engineering to provide support to our other partners.

The main focus of the group is to produce long term commercial solutions to benefit society or solve important problems through soft robotics and emerging robotics technologies. And this is where Connect-R comes in.

What’s your role in the Connect-R project?

As an academic partner in the project, the group are researching and providing expertise in fluidic control, robotic mechanical design, robotic locomotion and electronic engineering. They have six dedicated post-doctoral researchers working on the Connect-R project. They also have researchers working directly with Royal Holloway for robotic path planning research. The University are also providing support to the project lead-company, Barrnon, and all the other project partners.

How does your expertise meet the needs of the project?

The Connect-R project requires a system that can operate in a hostile environment and to be able to execute sophisticated tasks. As these environments pose a significant risk to humans, this can be mitigated using autonomous robotic systems.

When you develop from a systems level perspective, you need to consider everything. Our team’s communication is excellent across several disciplines and we work efficiently to effectively met the aims of the Connect-R project.

What does the group do outside of the Connect-R?

The Soft Systems Group is part of the Institute for Integrated Micro and Nano Systems in The School of Engineering at The University of Edinburgh. We use a wide range of bioinspired engineering approaches to tackle the most challenging issues faced by society. The group has a continuously growing scope of interest areas. This means we work across a range of academic-disciplines at different length scales and technology readiness levels – from small scale fluidics to large scale modular robotics.

You can find out more about Dr Adam A. Stokes and the Soft Systems group by visiting :

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