Research at Cardiff School of Technologies

Research activities at Cardiff School of Technologies are organised around three Emerging Technologies Research (ETR) clusters. These clusters consist of highly active research teams which undertake reseach in specific areas of study.

AI, Robotics & Data Science Cluster

The AI, Robotics & Data Science Cluster investigates issues around AI, machine learning, big data and robotics. The School is home to the EUREKA Robotics Lab, profiled by the International Trade Department (UK Government) as one of only 14 specialist centres in the UK focused on robotics research, and the only centre specialised in social and service robotics as well as long-term healthcare robotics research and development.
Research leads: Dr Esyin Chew, Dr Imtiaz Kahn

Creative Technologies Cluster

The Creative Technologies Cluster focuses its research on Human Computing Interaction (HCI), creative design, visualisation, Augmented Reality (AR) and games.
Research leads: Dr Fiona Carroll, Dr Simon Thorne

Active research projects

1. From data to business value: Developing a data physicalisation framework to transform data into value for Welsh business 

In an era of interconnectivity, technology generates trillions of gigabytes of data. Welsh businesses face a challenge – coming up with new ways of drawing value and insight from the data to create meaningful experiences for people, and hence, business success. 

We aim to produce a framework that will comprise a set of best practices for designing, developing and delivering a data physicalisation – the representation of data through the physical properties of an artefact. Data physicalisation can be applied to a range of data sets from public sector, commercial and non-governmental organisations. 

For this project, the best practices will evolve from and will guide how we encode data physically in order to extract meaning to exert a positive influence on the urban communities of Cardiff. In detail, it will introduce more engaging ways for people to assess environmental issues, understand their options, and make more informed decisions around their wellbeing.

2. Using Brain Computer Technology (BCI) to identify the neural signature of perceived threat in an online environment
In collaboration with James Kolasinski, CUBRIC, Cardiff University 

Human senses have evolved to pick-up on sensory cues to ensure safe navigation in a range of different physical domains – we can feel a threat before we know precisely what it is. The newest domain in which we exist is ‘cyberspace’, whose ‘placelessness’ means that some people think, feel and behave very differently than they would in equivalent real-world environments. We understand patterns of brain activity encoding threats in the real world, such as dark streets, derelict houses, and shady figures. However, we have little sense of what triggers in an online environment evoke the brain’s threat system in the same way. What should an online threat look and feel like in order to make us respond? 

Aims of this project:
1. To identify robust signatures of real-world threat using recordings of human electrical brain activity (EEG).
2. To test the effects of colour-based techniques (i.e. tone and hue visual variables), focused-based techniques (i.e. noise and blur visual variables) and geometry-based techniques (i.e. sketchiness and scale visual variables) against these threat markers from the EEG in order to develop a set of robust markers for the design of a safer and more secure cyberspace. 

This project will answer the following questions:
1. What patterns are generated during a physical world threat-processing task?
2. What online visual variables (such as noise, blur, colour etc.) can trigger the same patterns of human electrical brain activity as images of real-world threats?

Engineering, Networks & Physical Computing Cluster

The Engineering, Networks & Physical Computing Cluster undertakes research in Computer Security, sensors and IoT, bioinformatics, software engineering and information systems, and educational technologies.
Research leads: Dr Ambikesh Jayal, Dr Chaminda Hewage

For more information about the research undertaken at Cardiff School of Technologies, please contact Prof. Edmond Prakash, Acting Associate Dean (Research and Innovation):