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College of Electrical & Mechanical Engineering  (CEME)
 
NCRA
The National Center of Robotics and Automation is a consortia of 11 labs over 13 universities of Pakistan with its center headquarter at NUST College of E&ME. The center will serve as a leading technological hub within the domain of Robotics and Automation. The labs within NCRA are as follows: 

  1. Robot Maker Lab under NUST College of E&ME

  2. Robot Design and Development Lab at NUST College of E&ME

  3. Human Centered Robotics Lab at UET Lahore and UCP Lahore

  4. Industrial Monitoring and Automation Lab at ITU Lahore

  5. MEMs Sensor Design and Testing Lab at Air University

  6. Agricultural Robotics Lab at LUMS

  7. UAV Dependability Lab at FAST NUCES

  8. Swarm Robotics Lab at UET Taxila

  9. Haptics, Human-Robotics and Condition Monitoring Lab at NED Karachi and MUET

  10. Control Automotive and Robotics Lab at BUITEM and MUST

  11. Advanced Robotics and Automation Lab at UET Peshawar

 Vision

To manage and efficiently use the highly skilled researchers, scientists and experts of robotics and automation in order to generate resources based on our innate strengths towards transforming Pakistan into one of the technologically advanced nations of the world ​

Mission:

To facilitate the highly skilled researchers, scientists and experts of robotics and automation by creating a consortia of advanced labs throughout the country, and to ensure that the research and development is contributing towards the Vision of NCRA

Inaugration: 

The National Centre of Robotics and Automation was inaugrated by Prof. Ahsan Iqbal (Minister of Planning Developments and Reforms) in College of EME on 09th May 2018.​
NCRA.jpg 

Central Project Director/Chairman​

Dr. Umar Shahbaz Khan is currently working in the field of robotics and mainly towards the development of myo-electric controlled prosthesis. In 2016 he secured funding for this project from Ignite for an amount of PKR 14.12 Mn, the project is near completion phase. Within this project they have been able to develop the mechanical gripper and embedded control for patients with upper limb amputation. The prototype has been tested on one patient, and two more limbs are being developed for two more patients. This product has been launched as a startup called myobionics. Besides this he is Co-PI to a project for development of lower limb active prosthesis which is funded by PSF worth 2.7 million. His area of interests includes robotics, Mechatronics, embedded systems and image processing. Currently he is the head of Mechatronics Engineering Department at NUST College of Electrical and Mechanical Engineering 

Contact Details: u.shahbaz@ceme.nust.edu.pk, umarshahbaz@gmail.com 00 92 300 5533775

1. Robot Maker Lab

Dr Amir Hamza (Principal Investigator) 
Department of Mechatronics Engineering 
National University of Sciences and Technology 
a.hamza@ceme.nust.edu.pk +92 3343330358 
Research Interests: Manufacturing, energy efficient materials 

Dr Danish Hussain(Co-PI) 
Department of Mechatronics Engineering 
National University of Sciences and Technology
Danish.Hussain@ceme.nust.edu.pk +92 3442231659 
Research Interests: Mechanical modelling, Micro/nano robotics 

Dr Nauman Razzaq (Co-PI) 
Department of Mechatronics Engineering 
National University of Sciences and Technology 
nauman.razzaq@ceme.nust.edu.pk +92 3338124894 
Research Interests: Digital Signal Processing

Lab Aim and Scope 

The Robot Maker Lab will be equipped with the state-of-the-art rapid prototyping, machining and fabrication facilities for robot parts. The Lab has two main streams dealing with mechanical and electrical part manufacturing of robots. It is a shared facility between all NCRA Labs and will act as a centralized robot manufacturing facility to support NCRA Labs, start-ups, academia and industry. Following manufacturing processes will be available: • Metal working • Plastic working • Wood working • Carbon Fiber processing • PCB circuit design and fabrication​

Major Facilities: 

5-axis CNC machining center 

State of art 3D printing center 

Laser based precision machining facility 

3D scanning facility for reverse engineering 

Grinding, polishing and welding facilities 

PCB rapid prototyping, manufacturing and testing facilities​

Target Outcomes

The Robot Maker Lab will be a shared facility of NCRA and it aims at providing prototyping, manufacturing and training services to academia, start-ups, NCRA labs and industry partners, in the process, generating a revenue of PKR 9.5 Million in three year. The lab also intends to create jobs and convert research projects into products in collaboration with the NCRA labs. A number of workshops will be conducted to impart skills to more than 100 individuals in first three years. The lab will also provide consultancy services to local industry, academia and start-ups.

​Potential beneficiaries/ industry

​All NCRA Labs, Local industry, Researchers in robotics, Start-ups

​Research Projects, International Collaboration

  1. State Key Laboratory of Robotics and Systems, Harbin Institute of Technology, P R China 

  2. Aria Lab for Bioroboitcs and Biomedical Engineering, Nagoya University, Japan 

  3. XYZ Printing, Taiwan​

2. Robot Design and Development Lab​

Dr Javaid Iqbal (Principal Investigator)
Department of Mechatronics Engineering
National University of Sciences and Technology
j.iqbal@ceme.nust.edu.pk +92 300 5107045
Research Interests: Robotics, Artificial Intelligence

Dr Mohsin Islam Tiwana (Co-PI)
Department of Mechatronics Engineering
National University of Sciences and Technology
mohsintiwana@gmail.com +92 332 5226201
Research Interests: Instrumentation, Biomedical

Dr Waqar Shahid Qureshi (Co-PI)
Department of Mechatronics Engineering
National University of Sciences and Technology
waqarshahid@gmail.com  +92 321 1771711
Research Interests: Robotics, Machine Vision

AP Nasir Rashid (Co-PI)

Department of Mechatronics Engineering

National University of Sciences and Technology

n.rashid@ceme.nust.edu.pk +92 332 5088859

Research Interests: Unmanned Vehicles, Brain Computer Interface

Lab Aim and Scope​

The primary objective of the lab will be to provide a fusion center where real world (preferably local) problems are picked, given to a multidisciplinary team, and lead till commercialization. Secondary  objectives will include, but not limited to, human resource development and providing a platform where industry, startups, and academia can  collaborate

​Target Outcomes

The target outcome of the lab is to produce at least three products based on the local market needs and can be categorized in three domains, i.e. prosthesis, agriculture robotics, and unmanned ground vehicles. These product development will lead to three journal papers and 5 conference papers. These products will help to produce two startup companies. We will be able to produce 20 highly skilled and trained professionals in the domains mentioned above.

​Potential beneficiaries/ industry

Local agricultural industry, farmers. Patients with accidental and by birth imputation. Local security agencies, who will use UGVs

Research Projects, International Collaboration​

Some of the ongoing collaborations are 

  1. Taiwan Tech NTUST. One of our Co-PI is close working on two funded projects by a Professor from the Robotics lab at Taiwan Tech NTUST
  2. Central Queensland University Australia. The researchers from agriculture lab is closely working with a plant science professor at CQU to develop mango maturity device. The project proposal has been submitted to PARC and is in the final stage of acceptance by the board of governors. 
  3. The department also have a working relationship with the researchers from Robotics lab at University of Prague Czech Republic. 
  4. Scientia Professor, Dr Nigel Lovell, UNSW, is already working in biomedical domain. Dept faculty already has several joint research publications.
  5. The department faculty has also a working relationship with AIT Solution Thailand and Agha Khan foundation. Just recently a project on 3D mapping for Baltit fort was completed for AIT Solution Thailand

​ ​​​​3. Agricultural Robotics Lab

Dr. Abubakr Muhammad (PI) Center for Water Informatics & Technology / 
Dept. of Electrical Engineering Lahore University of Management  Sciences (LUMS) 
abubakr@lums.edu.pk, +92 (42) 35608132, +92 (315) 1477808 
Research Interests: hydro-informatics; agricultural robotics; social impacts of automation.

Dr Mian Muhammad Awais (co-PI) 
Department of Computer Sciences Lahore University of Management  Sciences (LUMS) 
awais@lums.edu.pk, +92 (300) 9480051 
Research Interests: Applied Artificial Intelligence, Soft Computing

Dr Ahmad Kamal Nasir (Co-PI) 
Department of Electrical Engineering Lahore University of Management  Sciences (LUMS) 
ahmad.kamal@lums.edu.pk, +92 (333) 8511788 
Research Interests: Mobile Robotics, Cooperative SLAM, Computer Vision

Dr Murtaza Taj (Co-PI) 
Department of Computer Sciences Lahore University of Management  Sciences (LUMS) 
murtaza.taj@lums.edu.pk, +92 (341) 2077525 
Research Interests: Computer Vision, Machine Learning, Computer Graphics

Lab Aim and Scope

To realize the potential of precision agriculture and agricultural robotics technologies for higher water efficiency, enhanced agricultural productivity and environmental sustainability via peer reviewed research, industrial collaborations, prototyping new systems, creation of testbeds, job creation, trainings and enterpreneurship.

Target Outcomes 
Societal Impacts 
1. Improvements in efficiency of agricultural water usage, both on-farm and for bulk irrigation delivery. 
2. Increased farm profitability via improved crop monitoring and precise interventions for farmers, industry and govt. 
3. Reduction in the negative impacts of agricultural activity and enhancements in ecofriendly sectors in agriculture.
 
Scientific Objectives 
1. Advancing the science of sensing and mobility on agricultural fields. 
2. Advances in high-resolution socio-hydrology using intelligent sensors, systems and actuators. 
3. Discovery of critical spatio-temporal linkages within the Water-Food-Energy nexus.

Potential beneficiaries/ industry
Progressive, corporate and small farmers; agricultural management agencies; water distribution agencies; environment protection; food industry; forestry

Research Projects, International Collaboration

Government Agencies: Punjab Irrigtion Department (PID), Crop Reporting Service (CSR) Punjab Agriculture Department, Punjab Environment Protection Department (EPD)
National Research Institutes: US-Pakistan Center for Advanced Studies in Water (USPCASW-MUET), Center for Excellence in Water Research Engineering (CEWREUET), Pakistan Council for Research in Water Resources (PCRWR), Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC), Punjab Forestry Research Institute (PFRI), Pakistan Forestry Institute (PFI)
Private Industry: Nestle-Pakistan, Fatima Fertilizer, South Punjab Forest Company
International Academia: University of Kaiserslautern, University of Seigen, Massachusetts  Institute of Technology  
Societal ​

4. MEMS Sensors Design and Test Lab

Dr. Rana Iqtidar Shakoor(Principal Investigator) 
Department of Mechatronics Engineering Air University 
rana.iqtidar@mail.au.edu.pk, +92 3335193862 
Research Interests: MEMS Physical Sensors

Dr. Shafaat Ahmed Bazaz (Co-PI) 
Department of Computer Engineering Center for Advanced Studies in Engineering(CASE) 
bazaz@case.edu.pk, +92 3065265797 
Research Interests: MEMS, Management & Information System

Dr. Muhammad Mubasher Saleem (C0-PI) 
Department of Mechatronics Engineering National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST) Mubasher.saleen@ceme.nust.edu.pk, +92 3336333734 
Research Interests: RF-MEMS, MEMS Energy Harvesters

Lab Aim and Scope​

The lab will develop skilled manpower through scientific research to produce world class MEMS experts having expertise in design and testing to produce world class R&D in MEMS and initiate commercial activities in this area in Pakistan. Moreover, it will support the local needs of the academic institutions, strategic organizations especially the research groups working in the field of robotics and automation. Design, simulation and testing of MEMS based devices including MEMS physical sensors, micro-robotic actuators, RF-MEMS and energy harvesters at the microscale will be carried at the lab.

Target Outcomes 
1. Indigenous development of MEMS sensors and actuators for the possible applications in the area of robotics and automation. 
2. Establishment of state of the art design and test facility for the development of MEMS devices in Pakistan. 
3. To provide MEMS prototype services including MEMS device design, fabless manufacturing and testing to the national institutes and organizations. 
4. Development of an open source cell library with experimentally validated MEMS devices that will eventually lead to development of first MEMS design house in Pakistan.​

Potential beneficiaries/ industry
The lab will provide MEMS sensors design, characterization and commercial off the shelf MEMS selection services to the local industry including NESCOM, HIT, PAEC, PAC, CARE and local research groups working in the field of robotics and automation.

Research Projects, International Collaboration
The MEMS design and test lab will focus on following three domains; 1. Development of MEMS physical sensors 2. Development of micro-robotic manipulators and open source cell library 3. Development of RF-MEMS devices and energy harvesters The lab will develop MEMS devices in strong collaboration with international research groups and industry including Queens University Canada, CMC Microsystem Canada, Fondazione Bruno Kessler (FBK) Italy and CMP France.

5. Human-Centered Robotics Lab

Dr. Ali Raza (Principal Investigator) 
Department of Mechatronics and Control Engineering University of Engineering and Technology, Lahore, Pakistan aliraza@uet.edu.pk, +92 42 99029241 Ext 809 
Research Interests: Self-Healing Robots, Heterogeneous Robots, Immuno-inspired Computational Intelligence

Dr. Muhammad Ahsan (Co-PI) 
Department of Mechatronics and Control Engineering University of Engineering and Technology, Lahore, Pakistan ahsan_naeem70@yahoo.com, +92 42 99029241 
Research Interests: Collaborative Robots, Fault Tolerant Quantum Computing & Controls, Intelligent Systems

Dr. Mohsin Rizwan (Co-PI) 
Department of Mechatronics and Control Engineering University of Engineering and Technology, Lahore, Pakistan mohsin_riz@yahoo.com, +92 42 99029241 
Research Interests: Exoskeletons, Robust and Optimal Controls, MEMS

Dr. Hafiz Farhan Maqbool (Co-PI) 
Department of Mechatronics and Control Engineering University of Engineering and Technology Lahore, Faisalabad Campus, Faisalabad, Pakistan

Dr. Zohaib Aftab (Co-PI) 
Department of Mechanical Engineering University of Central Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan 
dr.zohaib@ucp.edu.pk, +92 320 4686141 
Research Interests:  Rehabilitation, Legged locomotion, Balance Recovery, Powered Exoskeletons

Lab Aim and Scope

Human-Centered Robotics Lab aims to indigenously design and develop integrated robotic systems, based on smart sensing and actuation, to seamlessly interact with humans, actively learn from them and eventually create an effective collaborative environment. The lab will focus on the development of following application domains: Collaborative Robots, Exoskeletons, Active Prostheses and Active Orthoses.

Target Outcomes 

1. A fully functional collaborative robot for typical industrial applications   2. A fully functional prototype of upper-body exoskeleton for industrial activity/persons with reduced mobility 3. A fully functional active prostheses for lower limbs 4. A fully developed wearable assessment sensory systems 5. A working prototype of a low-cost lower limb exoskeleton device for polio patients 6. A universal research platform for medical exoskeleton research involving paraplegic (spinal cord injury) patients 

Potential beneficiaries/ industry

Automobile Manufactures and Affiliated Vendor Industry, Assembly Plants, 
Manufacturing Industry;
Patients with Mobility Impairments, Hospitals and Related Health Care Industry

Research Projects, International Collaboration

Cobots: Ashraf Group of Companies 
Cobots and Exoskeletons: Millat Tractors
Active Prostheses: Shalimar Hospital, Lahore
Active Prostheses/Orthoses: The Pakistan Society for Rehabilitation of the 
Disabled (PSRD), Lahore, Pakistan, LUMS, CMH
Exoskeletons: MARS Labs, UT Arlington, TX, USA
Human-Centered Robotics Applications: Massey University, New Zealand
Active Prostheses: University of Leeds UK 
Automobile ​

6. Swarm Robotics Lab

Dr. Muhammad Haroon Yousaf(Principal Investigator) 
Associate Professor, Computer Engineering Dept. UET Taxila 
haroon.yousaf@uettaxila.edu.pk, +92 321 5081080 
Research Interests: Computer Vision and Artificial Intelligence

Dr. Mansoor Shaukat (Co-PI) 
Director Robotics and Assistant Professor Electrical & Computer Engineering, Center for Advanced Studies in Engineering (CASE) mansoor@case.edu.pk, +92 321 7599998 
Research Interests: Swarm Robotics, Swarm Intelligence and Multi-Agent Systems

Dr. Danish Nisar (Co-PI) 
Associate Professor Electrical & Computer Engineering, Center for Advanced Studies in Engineering (CASE) mdanishnisar@gmail.com, +92 321 8569732 
Research Interests: Wireless Communications and 5G Networks

Dr. Amanullah Yasin (Co-PI) 
Assistant Professor Computer Science, Center for Advanced Studies in Engineering (CASE) 
amanyasin@gmail.com, +92 321 8040754 
Research Interests: Artificial Intelligence

Lab Aim and Scope
To establish a scaling solution for National Center for Robotics and Automation by providing an application agnostic swarm intelligence platform. The lab is composed of three sub-labs, i.e., Swarm Intelligence Lab, Computer Vision and AI Lab and Decentralized Communications Lab.

Target Outcomes 
1. Focal project is a readily deployable swarm of robots which effectively creates an emergency communication network in case of a natural disaster. The network will be used to communicate between first responders, victims and the central command centre. 
2. Also, the lab will focus on a perimeter security system. The system will consist of multiple robots which will collaborate with each other to ensure surveillance of a given perimeter and transferring object-of-interest data to the central command centre.

Potential beneficiaries/ industry
1. National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) 2. National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) 3. Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR) 4. All Law Enforcement Agencies 5. Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC), Kamra 6. Warehouses, agricultural companies, IoT and Big Data companies

Research Projects, International Collaboration
1. Acoustics Research Lab (ARL), National University of Singapore (NUS) 
2. Multimedia and Vision Research Group, Queen Mary University of London, UK 
3. Kingston University, UK 
4. University of Carlos III, Spain 5. CCNU, China

​7. Haprics, Human-Robotics and Condition Monitoring System Lab​

Dr. Riaz Uddin (Principal Investigator) 
Department of Electrical Engineering NED University of Engineering and Technology 
riazuddin@neduet.edu.pk, Phone:  +9221 99261261, +92 300 2260393 http://eed.neduet.edu.pk/faculty 
Research Interests: Haptics, Teleoperation Systems, Robotics, Mechatronics, Automation and Control Systems 

Dr. Syed Riaz un Nabi Jafri (Co-PI) 
Department of Electronic Engineering NED University of Engineering and Technology 
riazun1036@neduet.edu.pk , Phone:  +9221 99261261, +92 3142053562 http://eld.neduet.edu.pk/faculty Research Interests: SLAM, Robotics, Automation and Control Systems

Prof. Dr. Bhawani Shankar Chowdhry (Co-PI) 
Department of Electronic Engineering Mehran University of Engineering and Technology, Jamshoro bhawani.chowdhry@faculty.muet.edu.pk, Phone:  +92 222 22771334, cell: +92 334 2639078 
Research Interests: Embedded Systems, Predictive railway control and condition monitoring. 

Dr. Tayab Din Memon (Co-PI) 
Department of Electronic Engineering Mehran University of Engineering and Technology Jamshoro tayabuddin.memon@faculty.muet.edu.pk, +92 333 2924456 
Research Interests: Embedded Systems, Condition Monitoring Systems, Digital Design and Signal Processing 

Lab Aim and Scope
This lab is the joint lab of NEDUET and MUET, whose aim is to execute the state-of-the-art researches and development in the field of Haptics & HumanRobotics Lab (HHR) at NED University and Condition Monitoring Systems (CMS) at Mehran University. HHR will specifically deal with the design and development of Haptic/Tele-robotic interfaces (for Disaster Management and Medical Applications) and STEM-based Education/Assistive Robots. In CMS, we aim to develop national level predictive maintenance prototype solutions that can monitor different parameters of the plant for possible maintenance before going into worst condition (i.e., shut down). Scope of the CMS is transport infrastructure i.e., Railway and Road. These works will culminate with high quality research, innovation, commercialization and consultation.

Target Outcomes 
 Skilled force development i.e., Training of masters/PhD graduates, and development/commercialization of the products and solutions  Embedded System based prototype development and direct solution delivery for local industry,  Consultancy service to local industry, educational centers and industryacademic collaborations, Startups etc.  Workshops/seminars/conferences on CMS (i.e., FPGA based systems design/System –on-Chip) and HHR (with focused on Haptic Displays and STEM-based Education and Assistive Robots)  MoUs between partners and beneficiaries, sustainable technology driven socioeconomic development

Potential beneficiaries/ industry
SUPARCO, KANUPP, Defence/ Law Agencies, NDMA, Hilal-e-Ahmer House (Red Crescent), Schools and Educational Centers, Edhi/ Chhipa Welfare Association, Hospitals (Agha Khan and Qatar), NIC Karachi, Pakistan Railway, National Highway Authority (NHA), processing and Automation industries 

Research Projects, International Collaboration
The lab is seeking strong academic and research collaboration with the  focused research groups in the field of Haptics, Tele-robotics, condition monitoring, infrared thermography imaging with the following organizations/Universities/Research Centers.
 Haptic Technology Research Centre (HTRC) & Human-Robotics Lab, South Korea  Intelligent Robot Interaction Lab, UAE and Japan  The Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics, Italy  Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT), Melbourne Australia  City University, London  Central Queensland University Australia  University of Malaga, Spain

​​​Control​, Automative and Robotics Lab​