The Institute of Systems and Robotics, based in the University of Coimbra (ISR-UC) is a private, non-profit research institution founded in 1992 with the global purpose of setting up a first class multi-disciplinary research team, able to carry out leading edge research in several important areas of science and technology, with a special emphasis in systems and robotics. ISR promotes advanced multidisciplinary R&D in the areas Mobile Autonomous Robotics, Intelligent Transportation Systems, Search and Rescue Robotics, Robotic Manipulation, Computer Vision, Medical Robotics, Assistive Technologies, Biomedical Engineering, Advanced Industrial Automation Technologies and Intelligent Energy Systems.

ISR was evaluated in 2018 by an FCT international panel with EXCELLENT.  Currently ISR integrates the Associated Laboratory ARISE – Advanced Production and Intelligent Systems. ISR gives special attention to international scientific research cooperation with centers of excellence, as well as to training and education Initiatives.  ISR has also developed strong links with industry, either existing national and international companies, or promoting the creation of spin-offs. Two of its spin-offs Optisigma and Perceive 3D received in 2015 SME AWARDS from the H2020 EU Program. ISR has a strong track-record in the publication in international top journals and conferences, as well as in participation in national and international R&D projects.

ISR-UC is organized in seven Activity Areas with significant scientific and technological synergies:

  • Human-Centered Mobile Robotics
  • Field Robotics
  • Medical Systems and Robotics
  • Computational Intelligence and Control
  • Artificial Perception and Cognition
  • Visual Perception Intelligent Energy Systems

The success of the unit relies on the existing strong collaboration across disciplinary boundaries, which allows the unit to tackle highly complex scientific and technological challenges. Regular workshops stimulate collaboration that will be a key tool for addressing complex multidisciplinary problems and integrating the knowledge towards cognitive systems, as well as knowledge dissemination. Many research proposals and ongoing projects require researchers to take advantage of the complementarity of skills of the researchers and partners, resulting in high quality publications and joint supervision of PhD Thesis. 

ISR has strong interaction with some of the best research centers around the World, participating in large international projects. ISR also participates in networks of excellence in the robotics area and wants to keep organizing scientific meetings at the highest level (e.g. IROS, ICRA, IEEE ITSC, ROMAN). 

The activities in the unit are highly interdisciplinary by nature with strong interaction between the activity areas. Moreover, ISR actively collaborates with the Faculty of Medicine, health institutions and research centers (CNC-Center for Neuroscience, Rehabilitation Rovisco Pais Hospital, IBILI- Optical and Biomedical Imaging and Life Sciences Institute) and a variety of high technology industries.

Training and education activities are of high importance in order to enable cross-fertilization and innovation across disciplinary boundaries. ISR plays an active role in several doctoral programmes and provides experimental and scientific guidance to a large number of MSc students. Furthermore, training and education is a key element for community building and the generation of an open and stimulating culture. The primary training and education activities will be supervision of students and mentoring of postdocs in an everyday basis but also exchange of researchers with high quality research centers in different periods of the year. The existing cooperation with national and international industry (e.g. Google, PSA Group, Efacec power and automation equipment, Portucel paper group, CIMPOR cement group, EDP Electric Utility, National Money Authority Casa da Moeda, Brisa Motorways, Schneider Electric, ABB Corporate Research, and WEG) is planned to be increased with joint projects. ISR also wants to keep promoting technology transfer and the creation of spin-offs associated with the development of research results with a large market potential.

The Institute of Systems and Robotics have been cooperating with IPN-Instituto Pedro Nunes (, a regional technology transfer organization from Coimbra, Portugal. The Vice President of IPN has been for the last 10 years asenior researcher of ISR, ensuring a strong link between ISR and IPN. IPN has a very successful incubator, being responsible for the creation of over 80 companies, and having won the first prize for best incubator at EU level. 

Centre for Mechanical Engineering, Materials, and Processes

CEMMPRE: Group A- Mechanical and Intelligent Manufacturing

CEMMPRE: Group A- Mechanical and Intelligent Manufacturing is mainly focused on:

  • Biomechanics and human mobility;
  • Damage analysis;
  • Industrial management (e.g. production planning and control, supply chains, innovation,
    project and operations management, simulation and optimization modeling, combinatorial optimization);
  • Robotics (e.g. collaborative robotic and additive manufacturing);
  • Inverse analysis; Mechanical behavior and design methodologies;
  • Modeling, simulation, and optimization of forming and additive processes;
  • Joining processes (e.g. conventional and solid-state welding processes).

CEMMPRE: Group B- Materials and Processes

CEMMPRE: Group B- Materials and Processes is mainly focused on:

  • Sustainable manufacturing processes (additive (3D e 4D) and replicative manufacturing, PVD, welding);
  • Surface & interface engineering (e.g. tribological coatings, protection and corrosion resistant coatings, bio-active modified surfaces with antimicrobial activity);
  • Sensors, biosensors, corrosion, bioelectrochemistry;
  • Polymers (e.g. biobased materials, biodegradable);
  • Nanomaterials (3D and 2D);
  • Environmental microbiotechnology (e.g. bacteria-metal interactions, microbiomes and genome mining, biological and synthetic polymers).

EITM Doctoral School: Info day for PhD Supervisors

Next Friday (November 11 at 2:00 pm in room I025) there will be a debriefing session on the EIT Manufacturing Doctoral School that may be of interest to the doctoral programs for which they are responsible and which I would like to thank your colleagues for sharing. involved as mentors.

FEUP has been involved since its inception in the ETI Manufacturing initiative, an interdisciplinary innovation community associated with the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), which brings together more than 75 leading European partners in the sectors of industry, education and research.

This innovation community develops activities in the Knowledge Triangle (according to the Education, Innovation and Market pillars) and has recently launched the first education programs.

The University of Porto (through FEUP) in partnership with Arts et Métiers Institute of Technology (FR), Grenoble Institute of Technology and Management (FR), Czech technical University of Prague (CZ), Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava (SL) and University of Tartu (EE), and with EIT Manufacturing, promoted the creation of the EIT Manufacturing Doctoral School, and the agreement for the creation of the school was signed by the 6 schools and by EIT Manufacturing at the end of 2020. The doctoral school was also recognized by the EIT through the EIT Label attribution.

The EITM Doctoral School does not intend to develop new doctoral programs, but rather to develop complementary programs to the doctoral programs offered by partner universities focused on innovation and entrepreneurship components.

This information session has the (remote) participation of Lucia Raimundo (responsible for the doctoral school at EIT Manufacturing) and two FEUP students who participate in the program, and aims to clarify fellow advisors about the objectives and advantages of motivating their students to participate in.

An online session is also planned for the 24th of November, for which you can register via the link.

3D ADDITIVE EXPO-Feira de impressão 3D e fabrico aditivo. 9 – 12 /11/2022 (10-19 h) – EXPOSALÃO – Batalha

The stand of CEMMPRE and IPN based on Knowledge as essential “parameter” of Additive Manufacturing, shows present and future research about Additive Manufacturing (Materials and Technologies) applied to mechanical components/systems/devices. The exhibition was supported by researchers on 3D additive manufacturing technologies of CEMMPRE, contributing to disseminate and share to the visitants their experience on the latest materials and additive manufacturing technologies. The exhibition provided an overview of the state of art, design & modeling research, creative practice, and innovation&enterprise in 3D additive technologies. A QUIZ about the basic concepts in this area will let to selected 5 people to a special free course that promotes the formation to sustainable work in manufacturing, that could be the starting of industrial PhD.

Auxiliary Researcher CEMMPRE

It is hereby publicly announced, by Order of the Rector, Professor Amílcar Falcão, issued on 22/07/2022, the opening of an international selection tender, for the period of 30 working days, starting on the working day following the publication of this Notice in Diário da República (Official Journal of the Portuguese Republic). The aforementioned tender consists of 1 position in the career of Scientific Research, in the category of Auxiliary Researcher, under a public employment contract of indefinite duration, in the scientific area of Mechanical Engineering for the Department of Mechanical Engineering of the Faculty of Sciences and Technology of the University of Coimbra.

ARISE-LA Invited talks

DEEC, room: I(-1)05

Date and time: Thursday, October 27, at 3 pm

Title: Applied cryptography and cybersecurity in autonomous vehicles

Petter Solnør, Norwegian University of Science and Technology

Abstract: With cloud-computing technology, we can outsource computations in feedback control to third-party providers, increasing scalability and enabling feedback control as a service. However, by hosting our systems on third-party infrastructure, we also reveal potentially confidential information which limits the practical use of such systems. We can solve this problem by using a cryptographic concept called homomorphic encryption to design encrypted control systems that only operate on encrypted data. The goal of this presentation is to describe how we can use homomorphic encryption to design encrypted feedback control systems. We cover the basics of homomorphic encryption before describing general design principles and limitations of encrypted control. We proceed by showing examples of an encrypted control system and an encrypted guidance system for an unmanned surface vehicle. Finally, we show a third application where we fuse encrypted state estimates and describe how we can use such an application to, for example, design a collaborative air defense surveillance system.

Title: Autonomous docking of unmanned surface vehicles aided by visual and acoustic measurements

Øystein Volden, Norwegian University of Science and Technology

Abstract: Docking is a safety-critical operation for autonomous surface vehicles and requires highly accurate navigation signals. Since Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) can be unreliable and inaccurate in urban environments, other sensors should be considered for increased redundancy and reliability. To this end, we present a low-cost visual-inertial navigation system that we can use for automatic docking of small vehicles. The proposed system produces state estimates of the vehicle, including position, velocity, and attitude, based on raw image and inertial data. To simplify the navigation task, we use easily identifiable tags as a reference on the dockside. When the vehicle approaches the dock, a visual fiducial system recognizes the tags and estimates the relative pose between the camera onboard the vehicle and the tags at the dockside. The camera-tag pose and inertial data are then fused using an error-state Kalman filter for robust state estimation of the vehicle. Since the visual system is constrained by distance to the dockside and the camera’s field of view, we also employ a doppler velocity log (DVL) to obtain low-drift velocity aiding. As such, the DVL can be used to minimize drift for short-endurance missions until a landmark is detected and used by the visual system.

FEUP | Research Grants |BM3.4.5.6-SYSTEC DinamyCity

Applications: 11-10-2022 to 24-10-2022

Call open for applications for 4 research grants within the framework of project “DynamiCITY: Fostering Dynamic Adaptation of Smart Cities to Cope with Crises and Disruptions”, with reference NORTE-01-0145-FEDER-000073, co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), through the North Portugal Regional Operational Programme (NORTE2020), under Portugal 2020 Partnership Agreement, under the following conditions: EditalEN

Encontra-se aberto concurso para a atribuição de 4 Bolsas de Investigação, no âmbito do projeto “DynamiCITY: Fostering Dynamic Adaptation of Smart Cities to Cope with Crises and Disruptions”, com referência NORTE-01-0145-FEDER-000073, cofinanciado pelo Fundo Europeu de Desenvolvimento Regional (FEDER), através do Programa Operacional Regional do Norte (NORTE2020), ao abrigo do Portugal 2020, nas seguintes condições: EditalPT

ADOreD – SYSTEC participates in the new project that aims to accelerate the deployment of offshore wind energy using DC technology

ADOreD – Accelerating the Deployment of Offshore wind using DC technology (01/10/2022 – 30/09/2026)

Renewable power is one of the main drives to achieve carbon reduction and net-zero, and to meet the ambitious climate goals. In particular, offshore wind power in Europe has been developing at a rapid pace in recent years. Multi-Giga watts offshore wind farms with larger wind turbine power ratings, floating wind turbines installed in deeper water areas, and higher ratio of renewables integrated to existing power grids, are fundamentally changing power system operations and bringing new challenges and technical demands. This industry doctorate consortium, ADOreD, will recruit and train 15 Researchers by collaborating with 19 academic and industrial organizations. It aims to tackle the academic and technical challenges in the areas of transmission of offshore wind power to the AC grid by using power electronics-based AC/DC technologies. In doing so, it will equip the Researchers, through their PhD studies, with essential knowledge and skills to face fast energy transition in their future careers. The project covers 3 key research aspects: offshore wind (including wind turbines, wind power collection, and wind farm design and control); DC technologies (including AC/DC converters, HVDC control and DC network operation and protection); and AC grid (including stability and control of AC grids dominated with converters under various control modes. The ADOreD consortium has excellent coverage of academic universities and industry organizations including manufacturers, energy utilities, system operators, consultancy and technology innovation centers. All the research questions in the project reflect industry needs; academic novelty and innovation will be reflected in the methodologies and solutions; and the research results will be disseminated directly to the industry partners’ products, grid operation and services. The outcomes of the project are both technologies and a talent pool to accelerate the deployment and grid integration of large-scale offshore wind power.

Partners from Denmark, United Kingdom, China, Portugal, Germany, Belgium, Spain, Island:

  • Faculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do Porto (FEUP – SYSTEC) and Danmarks Tekniske Universitet (Coordinator);
  • Cardiff University;
  • Centrale Lille Institut; China Electric Power Research Institute (SEAL) SOE;
  • EFACEC ENERGIA – Máquinas e Equipamentos Eléctricos S.A;
  • Global Energy Interconnection Research;
  • Institute Europe GMBH;
  • Hitachi Energy Germany AG;
  • Katholieke Universiteit Leuven;
  • Ore Catapult Development Services Limited;
  • RED Electrica de Espana S.A.U.;
  • Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission PLC;
  • Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy AS;
  • TNEI Services Limited;
  • Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya;
  • Vattenfall Vindkraft A/S;
  • Youwind Renewables EHF;
  • YUSO.

CEMMPRE participation in the Celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Department of Mechanical Engineering

As part of the celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the creation of engineering courses at the University of Coimbra (UC), the Department of Mechanical Engineering (DEM) of the Faculty of Science and Technology of the University of Coimbra (FCTUC) held, on the 30th of September, a meeting to mark the date. With the motto “RoadMAP50 – Memory, Present and Perspectives”, the initiative aimed to “visit the memory of the evolution of the DEM and analyze its current situation to envision its future development”.

CEMMPRE participated in this initiative, with a brief presentation highlighting its integration into the Advanced Production and Intelligent Systems (ARISE) Associated Laboratory (AL), as well as its Research, Development, and Innovation activity, with particular emphasis on ongoing projects. At the end, Professor Marta Oliveira, made an appeal to all former members of CEMMPRE (or of CEMUC and ICEMS – centres that gave rise to CEMMPRE) to integrate a network that intends to promote future collaborations.