A Filipino professor, currently an international postgraduate student in England, won second place in the Queen Mary UK Best PhD in Robotics Award for inventing a unique sensor capable of measuring force, vibration, and temperature that could be used in telemedicine and telerobotics.
At the 2023 TAROS (Towards Autonomous Robotic Systems) Conference, Dr. Alexander Co Abad presented his research paper titled “Fine-grained Haptics: Sensing and Actuating Haptic Primary Colours (force, vibration, and temperature).” The TAROS conference is the longest-running international event on robotics and autonomous systems, hosted by the United Kingdom. The paper received recognition for its significant contribution to the field. The event took place on September 14, 2023.
Abad developed a HaptiTemp sensor, which is based on silicone. This sensor can detect various temperature levels and recognize tactile images, object movement, and vibration with abilities similar to humans. It utilizes a low-cost silicone sponge easily available in the market. The main aim of this invention is to benefit fields such as medicine, space exploration, material texture analysis, and telerobotics.
The 43-year-old innovator is an Electronics and Computer Engineering Department assistant professor at De La Salle University. He completed his Computer Science and Informatics doctoral degree at Liverpool Hope University. He recently made history by becoming the first Filipino to place in the top three of a prestigious competition.
The Best PhD in Robotics Award, sponsored by the Center for Advanced Robotics at Queen Mary University of London, is open to all candidates who have completed their robotics doctoral degrees from universities within the UK. The Queen Mary UK Best PhD in Robotics Award recognizes outstanding achievements in the field of robotics and is highly competitive.
Abad expressed his gratitude for the support he received from the Department of Science and Technology – Engineering Research and Development for Technology Foreign PhD scholarship, and the Mme. Maillefer Study Program of De La Salle University-Manila. He also thanked his supervisor, Dr. Anuradha Ranasinghe, a senior lecturer in Robotics at Liverpool Hope University. Dr. Ranasinghe’s works focus on haptics, human-robot interaction, perception, and haptic-based miniaturized sensors.