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Dr. Conor Mc Ginn
Assistant Professor, Mechanical, Manuf & Biomedical Eng

Publications and Further Research Outputs

Peer-Reviewed Publications

C. McGinn, M. Cullinan, R.Scott, Towards the Development of Test Methods for Collaborative Cleaning with a UV Robot, IEEE/ACM HRI 2021 Workshop on Novel and Emerging Test Methods and Metrics for Effective HRI, March 2021, 2021 Conference Paper, 2021

McGinn, C. and Scott, R. and Donnelly, N. and Roberts, K.L. and Bogue, M. and Kiernan, C. and Beckett, M., Exploring the Applicability of Robot-Assisted UV Disinfection in Radiology, Frontiers in Robotics and AI, 7, (590306), 2021 Journal Article, 2021 TARA - Full Text DOI

Veling, L. and McGinn, C., Qualitative Research in HRI: A Review and Taxonomy, International Journal of Social Robotics, 2021 Journal Article, 2021 DOI

O'Brien, C., M. O'Mara, J. Issartel, C. McGinn,, xploring the Design Space of Therapeutic Robot Companions for Children, Human-Robot Interaction (HRI), 2021 17th ACM/IEEE International Conference on, March 2021, 2021 Conference Paper, 2021

M. F. Cullinan, K. Kelly, and C. McGinn, Dynamic characterization and phenomenologi-cal modelling of sleeve pneumatic artificial muscles, ASME Journal of Dynamic Systems,Measurement and Control, 2020 Journal Article, 2020 DOI

David T. Farrell, Conor McGinn, Gareth J.Bennett, Extension twist deformation response of an auxetic cylindrical structure inspired by deformed cell ligaments, Composite Structures, 2020 Journal Article, 2020 URL DOI DOI

Coyne, A.K. and Murtagh, A. and McGinn, C., Using the Geneva emotion wheel to measure perceived affect in human-robot interaction, 2020, pp491-498 Conference Paper, 2020 DOI

C. McGinn and D. Dooley, What should robots feel like? factors that influence the perception of robot-skin, ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction, 15th ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction (HRI), Cambridge, UK, 2020, pp281-288 Conference Paper, 2020 DOI

A. Murtagh, P. Lynch, and C. McGinn, Presenting Botmark: a Computer Benchmark for Service Robotics, IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Robotic Computing, , 2020 Conference Paper, 2020 DOI

Torre, I. and Latupeirissa, A.B. and McGinn, C., How context shapes the appropriateness of a robot's voice, (9223449), 2020, pp215-222 Conference Paper, 2020 TARA - Full Text DOI

M. Otubela and C. McGinn, Controlling Fast Height Variation of an Actively ArticulatedWheeled Humanoid Robot Using Center of Mass Trajectory, IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA) , 2020 Conference Paper, 2020 DOI

A. Coyne, A. Murtagh, and C. McGinn, A framework for measuring perceived affect in human-robot interaction using the geneva emotion wheel, 15th ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction (HRI), Cambridge, UK, 2020 Conference Paper, 2020

C. McGinn, Why do robots need a head? the role of social interfaces on service robot, International Journal of Social Robotics , 2019 Journal Article, 2019 DOI

C. McGinn and I. Torres, Can You Tell the Robot by the Voice? An Exploratory Study on the Role of Voice in the Perception of Robots, 14th ACM/IEEE International Conference on in Human-Robot Interaction (HRI), 2019 Conference Paper, 2019

C. McGinn, E. Bourke, A. Murtagh, C. Donovan, and M. Cullinan, Meeting Stevie: Perceptions of a Socially Assistive Robot by Residents and Staff in a Long-term Care Facility, Late Breaking Report. 14th ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction (HRI), 2019 Conference Paper, 2019

Salaken S.M., Nahavandi S., McGinn C., Hossny M., Kelly K., Abobakr A., Nahavandi D., Iskander J., Development of a cloud-based computational framework for an empathetic robot, 2019, pp102 - 108 Conference Paper, 2019 DOI

Michael F. Cullinan, Conor McGinn, and Kevin Kelly, Sleeve Pneumatic Artificial Muscles for Antagonistically Actuated Joints, IEEE Transactions, 2019 International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), Palais des congres de Montreal, Montreal, Canada, May 20-24, 2019, 2019, pp8360 - 8366 Conference Paper, 2019 TARA - Full Text URL

C. McGinn, M. F. Cullinan, M. Otubela, and K. Kelly, Meet stevie: A socially assistive robot developed through application of a Design-Thinking approach, Journal of Intelligent & Robotic Systems, Special issue on Special issue on Elderly Care Robotics Technology and Ethics, 2019 Journal Article, 2019 DOI

M. Otubela and C. McGinn, Controlling AeroBot: Development of a Motion Planner for an Actively Articulated Wheeled Humanoid Robot, IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), 2019 Conference Paper, 2019

Conor McGinn, Michael F. Cullinan, Moyin Otubela, Kevin Kelly, Design of a terrain adaptive wheeled robot for human-orientated environments, Autonomous Robots, 43, (1), 2019, p63--78 Journal Article, 2019

C. McGinn, Informing the Design of HRI Systems through Use of the Ethics Canvas, Workshop on Dangerous HRI. 14th ACM/IEEE International Conference on in Human-Robot Interaction (HRI), 2019 Conference Paper, 2019

C. McGinn, M.F. Culleton, K. Kelly, Design of a terrain-adaptive wheeled robot for service applications in human-centered environments, Autonomous Robots, 2018 Journal Article, 2018 DOI

LFCS Durão, K Kelly, DN Nakano, E Zancul, CL McGinn, Divergent prototyping effect on the final design solution: the role of "Dark Horse" prototype in innovation projects, Procedia CIRP, 70, 2018, pp265 - 271 Conference Paper, 2018 DOI

C. McGinn, M. A.C. M. Bourke E., and K. Kelly, Exploring the application of "design thinking" to the development of service robot technology, Workshop on Elderly Care Robotics - Technology and Ethics (WELCARO).IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), 2018 Conference Paper, 2018

C. McGinn, E. Bourke, T. Kelly, and M. Cullinan, Adapting the Goals/Questions/Metrics(GQM) method for applications in robot design, IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), 2018 Conference Paper, 2018

Conor McGinn, Kevin Kelly, Using the Geneva Emotion Wheel to Classify the Expression of Emotion on Robots, ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction, Chicago, IL, USA, March 5-8, 2018, edited by Kanda & Sabanovic , 2018 Conference Paper, 2018

Mark Culleton; Conor McGinn; Kevin Kelly, Framework for Assessing Robotic Dexterity within Flexible Manufacturing, Journal of Intelligent & Robotic Systems, 2017 Journal Article, 2017 DOI

M.F. Cullinan, C. McGinn, E. Bourke, K.Kelly, A McKibben Type Sleeve Pneumatic Muscle and Integrated Mechanism for Improved Stroke Length, Journal of Mechanisms and Robotics, 2017 Journal Article, 2017 DOI

C. McGinn, A. Sena, K. Kelly, Controlling robots in the home: A study on factors that affect the performance of novice robot operators, Applied Ergonomics, 2017, p23 - 32 Journal Article, 2017 URL

Conor McGinn, Michael Cullinan, Mark Culleton, Kevin Kelly, A human-oriented framework for developing assistive service robots, Disability and Rehabilitation: Assitive Technology, 2017 Journal Article, 2017 DOI

C. McGinn, M. Culleton, 'Control Interface for a Semi-Autonomous Vehicle', US, US 9348334 B2, 2016, 24 May 2016 Patent, 2016 URL

C. McGinn, 'Hybrid wheel-leg robot morphology', UK Patent Agency, 2016 Patent, 2016 Other

C. McGinn, M. Cullinan, G. Walsh, C. Donovan, K. Kelly, Towards an embodied system-level architecture for mobile robots, IEEE International Conference on Advanced Robotics, Istanbul, 2015, pp536 - 542 Conference Paper, 2015 DOI

A. Sena, C. McGinn, A. McCreevey, C. Donovan and K. Kelly, HUMAN IN THE LOOP CONTROL IN ROBOTICS FOR MANUFACTURING, 32nd International Manufacturing Conference, Queens University Belfast, 2nd-4th September, edited by Joe Butterfield & Paul Hermon , 2015, pp157 - 164 Conference Paper, 2015 TARA - Full Text

M.F. Cullinan, C. McGinn and K. Kelly, ORIENTATION ESTIMATION USING KALMAN FILTERS WITH MULTIPLE SENSORS, 32nd International Manufacturing Conference, Queens University Belfast, 2nd-4th September, edited by Joe Butterfield & Paul Hermon , 2015, pp29 - 38 Conference Paper, 2015 TARA - Full Text

C. McGinn, M. Cullinan, D. Holland, K. Kelly, Towards the design of a new humanoid robot for domestic applications, ," IEEE International Conference on Technologies for Practical Robot Applications (TePRA), Boston, April 14-15, 2014 Conference Paper, 2014

C. McGinn, K. Kelly, A practical humanoid robot morphology for operation in civilian environments, Trinity Journal of Postgraduate Research, 13, 2014, p109 - 134 Journal Article, 2014

Kelly, K., MacManus, D.B., McGinn, C., Development of a Humanoid Robot for Education and Outreach, 30th International Manufacturing Conference, University College Dublin, 3-4 September 2013, edited by G.Byrne, B. Mullaney, P. Connolly, E. Ahearne , School Of Mechanical & Materials Engineering, University College Dublin, 2013, pp268 - 275 Conference Paper, 2013 TARA - Full Text

Conor McGinn, Kevin Kelly, Aran Sena, Oisin Brogan, Evaluation of a Local Path-Planning Algorithm for a Hospital Located Autonomous Mobile Robot, 23rd Irish Signals and Systems Conference, Maynooth, Ireland, June 28-29, 2012, 2012 Conference Paper, 2012

C. McGinn, K. Kelly, Practical considerations for the design of autonomous mobile robots, 29th International Manufacturing Conference (IMC29), University of Ulster, 2012 Conference Paper, 2012

M. Culleton, C. McGinn, K. Kelly, Development of an autonomous robotic hand with human interaction capabilities, 29th International Manufacturing Conference (IMC29), University of Ulster, 2012 Conference Paper, 2012

P. Wardlaw, C. McGinn, K. Kelly, Development of a mobile robotic simulator, 29th International Manufacturing Conference (IMC29), University of Ulster, 2012 Conference Paper, 2012

C. McGinn and D. Geraghty, Modelling an active suspension controller for a road vehicle, IET Irish Signals and Systems Conference , Cork, 23-24 June, 2010 Conference Paper, 2010

Research Expertise


  • Title
    • RObots to Protect Against COVID (ROPAC)
  • Summary
    • Ridding rooms of harmful germs (including SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19) remains a pressing concern in our hospitals, as well as other settings that are re-opening their doors to people after the pandemic. Currently, disinfecting rooms is a labour-intensive task that is prone to high levels of human error, since we cannot see the germs that need to be cleaned away. Additionally, scrubbing surfaces will not counter aerosolised viruses in small droplets in the air. Hospitals, nursing homes, and many other places must now be thoroughly cleaned on a much more frequent basis than ever before. But manual cleaning is time-intensive and puts pressure on resources, as well as potentially exposing cleaners to infectious disease. Robot disinfection systems that use UV light to zap germs have emerged as a promising technology in the fight against COVID-19. They are effective on surfaces and in air, and do not leave behind harmful or toxic residues. The research will examine the primary factors that affect the germ-killing performance and occupational safety of UV disinfection robots in use at hospitals and other real-world settings. The project will generate new insights critical for informing where, how and when UV disinfection technology can be best and most effectively integrated within infection control systems in hospitals and other frontline settings. This will help lead to a scalable new cleaning system that will help keep our buildings cleaner and our staff safer.
  • Funding Agency
    • Science Foundation Ireland (SFI)
  • Date From
    • 01/07/20
  • Date To
    • 31/05/21
  • Title
    • Robotics In Care Industry (RICI)
  • Summary
    • This project addresses the need to increase the quality of care and operational efficiency of assisted living provision, especially in applications concerning the elderly. The innovation describes a robotic solution that leverages a combination of autonomous and human controlled elements, which can perform multiple custodial care functions in communal assisted living facilities. The research underpinning the innovation has been under on-going development over for nearly a decade by robotics researchers in Trinity College. The key objective of the project is to advance the TRL level of the Stevie robot, bringing it closer to being compliant with the relevant technical standards and data protection regulations. The second major objective is to validate the system, particularly user acceptance, in a real US-based assisted living facility through multiple pilot deployments.
  • Funding Agency
    • Enterprise Ireland
  • Date From
    • Jan 1st 2018
  • Date To
    • Dec 31st 2020
  • Title
    • Development of a control system for robot-mediated social interaction
  • Summary
    • Social isolation is a major problem for people living alone, especially the elderly and those living with disabilities. A compelling solution to this problem is the development of technology that can help keep people socially connected and mentally stimulated. Anthropomorphic social robots have great potential for promoting cognitive engagement and combating social isolation, especially if they can operate as a medium to connect people with the outside world. Their features/form facilitate natural interactions, communication of affective states and provide high levels of redundancy. However, controlling these systems, either autonomously or manually by a human operator, remains a major research challenge. Artificial social intelligence, as applied to service robots, is currently in its early stages of development and it is expected to take many more years before robots will be capable of achieving even basic levels of social competence in unstructured settings. A more practical, yet equally compelling approach is to explore how the quality of remote social interaction between two (or more) people can be enhanced using robots to mediate human-human communication.
  • Funding Agency
    • Trinity College Dublin
  • Date From
    • September 1st 2018
  • Date To
    • August 30th 2022
  • Title
    • An embodied control system for autonomous robotic grasping on mobile robots
  • Summary
    • Increasingly robots are being developed to perform tasks outside of the traditional industrial setting, such as in warehouses, hospitals and in the home. Unlike industrial robots that are configured to perform few defined tasks, it is often desirable for modern robots to be highly adaptable and capable of multi-purpose use. These environments are often more stochastic in nature, requiring the robot to possess real-time control capabilities and increased levels of environmental perception. In these scenarios, tasks requiring robots to grasp objects autonomously become increasingly difficult often due to poor perceptual awareness in the local region of the object being grasped. The central aim of this research is to demonstrate that by incorporating a variety of exteroceptive sensors in the gripper and adopting a decentralised control approach, improved sensor data can be generated, and better grasping performance achieved.
  • Funding Agency
    • Irish Research Council
  • Date From
    • March 1st 2017
  • Date To
    • February 30th 2021
  • Title
    • Dynamic locomotion of a electo-pneumatically powered mobile service robot
  • Summary
    • Mobile robots have traditionally struggled to demonstrate robust terrain adaptability across the spectrum of everyday human-centred environments. Wheeled and legged robot morphologies are the common forms of choice yet both suffer critical drawbacks which has limited their use and rate of adoption. Incorporating the best of both wheeled and legged systems into a single platform (hybrid) has shown promising results in this field. The experimentation of hybrid robot platforms is a relatively new and growing occurrence in the literature and is thus a comparatively unexplored area in relation to purely legged platforms with regards to how these systems can be optimally designed, developed and controlled. This research aims to address this gap in the literature. In doing so, state of the art developments and design philosophies that facilitated the creation of some of the best performing robots today will be explored and advanced for the special dynamics and control problem for hybrid systems.
  • Funding Agency
    • Irish Research Council
  • Date From
    • September 1st 2018
  • Date To
    • August 30th 2021


Automation, Robotic Control Systems; COMPUTER-AIDED DESIGN; Design Engineering; HUMAN-ROBOT INTERACTION; Machine Design; MACHINE LEARNING; Robotics; universal design; USER-CENTERED DESIGN



Member National Steering group for Robotics 2018-present

Coordinator of NSAI Committee for Service Robot Standardisation 2018-present

Member of IEEE SMC TC on Robotics and Intelligent Sensing 2018-present

Member of Working Group IEEE SA 7007: Ontological Standard for Ethically Driven Robotics and Automation Systems 2018-present

EU JRC Centre for Advanced Studies Invited Speaker October 2019

IEEE SMC Invited Lecture, Deakin University, Australia May 2018

Awards and Honours

MIT Technology Review 35 under 35 Dec 2019

Time Magazine Top 100 Inventions of the Year (Stevie the Robot) Dec 2019

TCD Provosts Teaching Award 2019

Engineers Ireland Excellence Award for Engineering Innovation - winner 2014

SFI I'm an Engineer Competition Winner 2016

National Disability Authority (NDA) Universal Design Grand Challenge [Finalist] 2014

Discover Research Dublin "Smart Cities, Smart World" Winner 2014

Engineers Ireland Excellence Award for Innovation (Runner Up) 2018

TCD Registrar's Civic Engagement Award 2018

TCD Provosts PhD Award 2018

Katerva Award (Nobel prize for sustainability): finalist 2018

CIRP Design conference best paper - Runner Up 2018

Robot Design Competition - Intl. Conf. on Social Robots: Runner Up 2017


IEEE Member 2010 – present