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Robotics and Innovation Lab

The Robotics and Innovation Lab (RAIL) is an application-driven, interdisciplinary research group that is focused on the development of novel and innovative technical solutions that address major societal challenges.

If you would like to discuss possible collaboration, or you are a student interested in joining the team, please get in contact with one of the group leaders listed below.

Group Leaders

Current Research Projects

Project Title Principal Investigator(s) Date
Digi-ID PLUS Esther Murphy 2022-2024
Human + Design of a compliant neck for a social robot Jennifer Edmond,Conor McGinn, Michael Cullinan 2022-2024
Validation of airflow model to predict time for air replenishment in hospitals Conor McGinn, Tim Persoons, Seamus O'Shaughnessy 2022-Present
Exploring the efficacy of UV robots at reducing bioburden in hospitals and other settings affected by COVID-19 Conor McGinn, Michael Beckett 2021-Present
Autonomous grasping of moving objects Conor McGinn 2017-Present
Control of a wheel-leg self-balancing robot Conor McGinn 2017-Present
Multi-modal tele-operation of social robots Conor McGinn 2018-Present

Past Projects

Project Title Principal Investigator(s) Date
Robots to Protect Against COVID (ROPAC) Conor McGinn 2020-2021
Robots in the Care Industry (RICI) Conor McGinn 2017-2019
Innovation Performance Measurement Kevin Kelly 2016-2020
Multi-Modal Robot Control for Non-Expert Human Robot Interaction in Domestic Task Environments Kevin Kelly, Conor McGinn 2014-2016
Strategies to Enhance Student Selection of Engineering as a Career Kevin Kelly 2010-2012
ATTRACT Project Kevin Kelly 2010-2013
Project Anna Kevin Kelly 2010-2013
Control of Pneumatic Air Muscles Kevin Kelly, Conor McGinn 2014-2018
Actuator design for safe Human Robot Interaction (HRI) Kevin Kelly, Conor McGinn 2014-2018
Hybrid electro-pneumatic service robot morphology 'Aerobot' Kevin Kelly, Conor McGinn 2010-2015
Navigation aid for people with intellectual disabilities 'wayToB' Kevin Kelly
Lightweight anthropomorphic gripper for service robot applications Conor McGinn
TCD@Home competition team Conor McGinn
Social robot interface 'SII' Conor McGinn, Kevin Kelly 2015-2017
Robotic Dexterity Assessment Framework Kevin Kelly 2012-2017
Hardware platform for AI in robots 'WIP' Conor McGinn 2014-2016
Robot tele-operation control simulator Conor McGinn 2012-2015
Design of embodied social robot v1.0 'Robbie' Kevin Kelly, Conor McGinn 2012-2013
Design of bipedal walking robot Conor McGinn 2013
Autonomous patient transport system for hospitals Conor McGinn 2011-2012

Roles and Vacancies

Role Description Current Status Next Steps
PhD Students We periodically take on new PhD students where we, or the student, have funding to cover the full cost of the research and a stipend of appropriate value (i.e. we do not take on self-funded students).. Candidates will be expected to be academically excellent and capable of contributing holistically to the team. No positions vacant N/A
Industrial PhD We will consider proposals from suitably qualified and motivated individuals with topics of mutual interest and where the appropriate support structures are in place from their employer and from funding bodies. Open to offers Contact us
Post Doctoral Researchers We occasionally have positions for post-doctoral researchers, who are expected to make a significant contribution towards the advancement of our research and innovation agendas and to provide assistance and mentoring to other team members No positions vacant N/A
Visiting Academics We welcome approaches from colleagues in other institutions with overlapping and complementary research interests. We do not in general have funding available, but can usually provide basic (shared) office accomodation. Open to offers Contact us
Summer Undergraduate Interns We believe in providing challenging, rewarding experiences to our undergraduate students during which time they will contribute to the activities of the team in a number of projects under close supervision by group leaders and more experienced team members. A number of paid positions are typically available each summer, but we can accommodate unpaid positions which may be suitable for more junior students seeking to develop their experience. Accepting applications Contact us
Student Research Interns Students, who as part of their studies, are required to take an industrial or research internship, are regularly incorporated into our team. Because of the high volume of applications, we rarely accept applications from institutions with which we are not (or have not previously) collaborated. Positions are typically at least 3 months, and more usually 6 months. We rarely have funding for such positions, so students should look to avail of other sources such as Erasmus+. No positions vacant N/A
Research Engineers/ Assistants In addition to our more research focused positions we regularly employ research engineers (or research assistants) who typically engage in more applied research, development and innovation, as well as teaching support - mainly in the engineering design areas. These positions are often attractive to recent graduates who are seeking to deepen their experience in design and innovation. No positions vacant N/A


Name Position Tel. E-mail Google Scholar Link
Prof. Kevin Kelly Associate Professor +353 1 896 1465 Link
Dr. Conor McGinn Assistant Professor +353 1 896 3767 Link
Dr. Michael Cullinan Postdoctoral researcher +353 1 896 3767
Dr. Esther Murphy Research Fellow +353 1 896 3767 Link
Mr. Patrick Lynch PhD Student +353 1 896 3767
Mr. Moyin Otubela PhD Student +353 1 896 3767
Mr. Adam Coyne PhD Student +353 1 896 3767 N/A
Ms. Sara Fiori Research Assistant +353 1 896 3767


Name Period Activities Current Position LinkedIn
Ms. Iseult O’ Donnell 2019-2022 Design Innovation and Teaching Support Engineer Link
Mr. Hesham Shaarawy 2020-2022 Design Innovation and Teaching Support Process Engineer at Pfizer Link
Mr. Richard L’agrée 2021-2022 Design Innovation and Teaching Support Robotics Engineer Link
Mr. Robert Scott 2020-2021 Robotics and UVGI Clinical Engineer Link
Ms. Molly O’Mara 2020-2021 Design Innovation and Teaching Support AME Automation Process Engineer Link
Mr. Sean McMahon 2020-2021 Design Innovation and Teaching Support Test Lab Engineer at Stryker Innovation Center Link
Dr. Vanessa Nappi 2016-2020 PhD, Innovation Performance Measurement University Lecturer, Brazil Link
Mr. Alex Shackleton 2019-2020 Design Innovation and Teaching Support Product Design Engineer at Firecomms Link
Ms. Anna Rafferty-Lynam 2019-2020 Design Innovation and Teaching Support Mechanical Design Engineer at Logitech Link
Ms. Cara O’Brien 2018-2019 Design Innovation and Teaching Support, Project Anna Assistant Project Manager at AECOM Link
Mr. Rian McDonnell 2018-2019 FloWaste (student) CEO, FloWaste Link
Mr. Robbie Fryers 2015-2019 WayToB, Project Anna CTO, WayToB Link
Ms. Talita Holzer 2015-2019 WayToB, Project Anna CEO, WayToB Link
Dr. Mark Culleton 2012-2016 PhD, Robot Dexterity Post-Doctoral Research, STAM group TCD Link
Mr. Eamonn Bourke 2016-2019 Design Innovation and Teaching Support, Stevie Director of Design & Manufacture at Akara Robotics Link
Mr. Andrew Murtagh N/A Stevie Developer, WayToB Link
Dr. Aran Sena 2012-2014 MSc, Robotics Research Post doctoral research fellow, Imperial College London Link
Ms. Aoife Nic Chraith 2010-2012 MSc, Robotics in Education, ATTRACT Principal Specialist - Intellectual Property Link
Ms. Claire Marshall 2010-2012 ATTRACT Project Equality Officer, TCD Link