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Personal profile


I am a computer scientist with research specialization in robotics and machine learning.

Within the University of Edinburgh, I play a leadership role as the Director of the Institute of Perception, Action and Behaviour in the School of Informatics, and as an Executive Committee member for the Edinburgh Centre for Robotics. As the Principal Investigator for the UKRI Research Node on Trustworthy Autonomous Systems Governance and Regulation, I lead multi-university activities at the national level.

With members of the Robust Autonomy and Decisions group and collaborators, my research is focussed on learning, adaptation and control mechanisms to enable autonomous robots to cope with the uncertain and the unknown, and for them to be effective in human-AI teams. In turn, this leads us to basic scientific questions about compositional and multi-scale modelling, combination of reasoning with learning and the cognitive aspects of active perception and interaction. 

At Five, I helped build and direct an engineering organisation focussed on the technology stack for autonomous driving. Through this work, our research ideas have been deployed and demonstrated on public roads in London as part of the StreetWise trials, and incorporated into an integrated platform for autonomous vehicle development and safety assurance.

I teach courses in robotics and machine learning, and take part actively in science communication and public engagement. I believe we can only achieve the challenging goals of inclusive growth and well-being for all by fostering broad social participation in the scientific enterprise. This requires us to excite the imagination of the next generation.

Education/Academic qualification

Electrical and Computer Engineering, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Task encoding, motion planning and intelligent control using qualitative models, University of Texas

1 Jan 20011 Jul 2007

Award Date: 13 Aug 2007

External positions

Scientific Advisor, FiveAI Ltd

1 Jan 2021 → …

Faculty Fellow, The Alan Turing Institute

1 Sept 2018 → …

Vice President, FiveAI Ltd

1 Sept 201731 Dec 2020

Scientific Advisor, FiveAI Ltd

1 Jan 201730 Aug 2017

Visiting Scholar, Stanford University

1 Mar 201630 Dec 2016

Visiting Professor, Univ Roma La Sapienza, Sapienza University Rome

30 Jun 20151 Apr 2015


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