About Us

The Intelligent Systems Research Laboratory (www.isr.reading.ac.uk), led by Professor Badii, is a self-funded research laboratory with a history of sustained success in delivering large scale collaborative research programmes funded by a variety of sources including EPSRC, TSB, MoD Grand Challenge, the European Community and through direct industrial support for its inter-disciplinary research and innovation.  This spans a number of sub-fields within secure ambient intelligent systems and applications of the Internet-of-Things, robotics, security, smart cities, video-analytics, and, healthcare support.  ISR was founded in 2006 by Professor Atta Badii who has established a track record of key contributions to over 40 projects including over 30 large scale collaborative projects, coordinated over 10 large scale international projects and achieved recognition for visionary research leadership and innovation management.  

The list below is indicative of the un-paralleled potential ISR has demonstrated in research capacity building and maintaining.  

  • The ISR inter-disciplinary research capabilities, as evidenced by its successfully delivered research programmes, span the spectrum of socio-ethical system-of-systems, security and privacy-preserving technologies, companionable (mixed-initiative) robotics and tele-manipulation, advanced ambient intelligence and personalisation to support smart city services (e.g. as with SmartSantander), creative media (e.g. as with DREAM), collective awareness platforms to support digital social innovation (e.g. as with Citizens’ Say) and future learners’ autonomy (e.g. as with IntuiTel), Big Data dashboards (e.g. as with Content Safari), agent-based simulation including computational socio-dynamics modelling, as well as real-time systems comprising both software, heterogeneous embedded systems, hardware acceleration and high performance computation.  
  • Amongst the UKRC and InnovateUK research impact priority areas involved in the most recently funded research programmes at ISR are: the Internet of Things and cloud-enabled service-oriented architectures, Big Data driven and crowd-sourced integrated models of urban dynamics, analytics, simulation and visualisation for strategic, operational and tactical decision support to serve city managers, planners, policy makers and emergency services as well as the citizens’ life-work styles.  This is underpinned by Future Internet technology enablers such as Smart Wireless Sensor and Actor Networks (WSANs), Secure Semantic Middleware and Trust Modelling to support Identity Management, Access Control, the vision of the Trustworthy Internet of People, Things and Services (IoPTS), and, methodologically-guided socio-ethically reflective co-design of socially responsible and responsive systems-of-systems (Accountability-by-Design).   
  • As for the European Commission Horizon 2020 research and innovation priority areas, ISR has demonstrated research capabilities in Cyber Security, Surveillance, Forensics, Analytics, Big Data, the Internet-of-Things, Smart Cities, Citizens’ Engagement Platforms and Social-Criminal Networks Analytics, Digital Social Innovation Platform, Socio-ethically Reflective Privacy Protection Solutions, Robotics, Embedded Systems and Technology Enhanced Learning.   ISR as a self-funded research laboratory has shown an unparalleled performance in building and maintaining research capacity with a high international reputation in technical and scientific leadership and research and innovation management.  

Examples of other indicators of national and international recognition are as follows:

  • EPSRC College Member, invited Proposal Reviewer for EPSRC, TSB, European Commission Research Directorate and the Swedish Research Funding Agency; Expert Advisory Board member for projects, and, Research Road Map /Calls.
  • Leader, European Centre of Excellence for Socio-ethical and Privacy-Preserving Video-Analytics.
  • Leader, European Observatory for Crowd-Sourcing.   
  • Pioneer in context-aware privacy protection technologies and their benchmarking; having led the worldwide initiative in multi-media privacy protection solutions benchmarking since 2011.
  • Formal Recognition of contributions to the Privacy Task Benchmarking by the MediaEval Worldwide Multimedia Benchmarking Initiative.
  • Top European “Smart Innovation” Project Leader:  Hector the Companionable Robot as one of the top European “Smart Innovation Projects” at the 1st European Innovation Convention Dec 2011.
  • Top 7 Best Research and Innovation Demonstration for the Hydra (LinkSmart) project at the European ICT Conference 2008, Lyon, France.
  • Top 7 Best MoD Grand Challenge Projects (2008).
  • ISR Projects (CompanionAble, CORBYS) featured in the Department of Health Annual Parliamentary Report (2011-2012) on the latest innovations in Assistive Technologies (with Hector on the front cover).
  • Technology Strategy Board Research Strategy Document 2009 featured DREAM (funded by EPSRC-TSB) as an exemplary innovation project.
  • Award of a further large scale project (over 2M€) as a follow-on Impact Realisation project to integrate DREAM into larger scale platforms.  
  • Several novel architectures, platforms and paradigms have arisen from various projects with core contribution from ISR e.g. The LinkSmart Open-Source Platform,  UI-REF ethno-methodological normativity dimensions, social constructs analysis and evaluation framework, Mobi-PETS GRID semantic security and VideoSense context-aware privacy protection  for Smart CCTV, Citizens’ Say e-Democracy Platform, C3PAL, Fastmatch Cyber Defence, etc. with considerable impact as reported by Forbes Magazine, New York Times and many other printed media, radio and TV programmes worldwide.  
  • Professor Atta Badii serves as an IEEE Technical Committee Member for EMBS BioRobotics, and has received various designations such as International Privacy by Design Ambassador (as designated by the Canadian Information Commissioner championing the advancement of Privacy Protection worldwide (Privacy By Design), and, Distinguished Professor of Systems Engineering and Digital Innovation (UCC).

Our track record of successful leadership of large collaborative projects, including scientific and technical coordination is underpinned by our 6 Research and Technology Innovation capability areas:

  • Computer network security & trustworthy Internet‐of‐Things (IoT) architectures, cyber security, computer network traffic optimisation, biometrics and secure-access control policy and ID management, FPGA-enabled ultra-high-speed Intrusion Detection Systems (FASTMATCH), critical infrastructure security vulnerabilities and threat detection, industrial monitoring and control systems (SCADA) security, multi-media forensics and Digital Rights Management (DRM), enterprise information assurance, integrated cyber and physical security-by-design, trustworthy cloud services (MobiPETS-Cloud), social/criminal networks analysis, Big Data exploration, analytics and visualisation, secure e-Government services integration, socio-ethically-aware video-analytics including semantic scene analysis, event detection, real-time remote monitoring and Complex Event Processing (CEP), event-triggered image processing and responsive control, Privacy-by-Co-design, mobile privacy-preserving Internet-of People-Things-Services (MobiPETS-GRID), secure socio-ethical IoT architectures and IoT governance by co-design, secure location-based semantic-cooperative (cloud) services provisioning, secure middleware platform for semantic sensor network interoperability and embedded systems integration to support ambient intelligence architectures (LinkSmart), IoT-enabled Smart Cities, link-and-stream data-mining, text mining, data intelligence visualisation for Decision Support Systems, eGovernment Systems, Mobile Telecom-Cloud Convergence.
  • Multi‐modal (multi)media information retrieval, semantic search, media auto-tagging  technologies, semantic web, search and  retrieval technologies (KAIFIA), music and networked media technologies (including 3D-media, music information retrieval systems, meta-data enhancements engineering),  model-driven and service-orientated architecture supported by ontology-based context-aware systems, pervasive e-Learning, advanced personalisation in secure service match-making and contracting within the future internet service eco-systems, life management platforms.
  • Multi‐modal real-time Robo‐Humatics© & Affective Human‐Computer Interaction, Applied Pattern Recognition and Cognitive Robotics as Carer/Social Robots, machine perception, learning and socialisation, bio-inspired computer vision, robots‐people teams cooperation support architecture, advanced human‐computer interaction for home/office/car/factory‐of‐the‐future, context-emotion-aware interactive systems/avatars design, situated emotions-aware automated music adaptation Engine (AME), social companion robotics (Hector), ambient multi-modal Command, Communication and Control (C3‐PAL), secure safety-privacy-aware assistive-rehabilitative companion robotics, graceful seamless integration of semantic-cognitive control architectures for service/social robotics, object recognition and tracking, natural language processing, speech understanding and dialogue management, robot navigation in unstructured environments, intelligent clothing for real-time vital signs monitoring (stress/cardio-vascular/hemo-dynamic), eHealth and biomedical engineering, semantic sensor fusion to support sensor networks integration, intelligent vehicular networks, smart FEVs, immersive virtually-augmented and mixed-worlds systems (AR/MR), social and teamwork etiquette modelling to support Human-Robot Mixed–Initiative Taking; Cognitive robotics testability and safety certification framework.
  • Simulation and modelling, agent behaviours-risks modelling, intelligent information management, Deceptive/deviant agent behaviour modelling, behaviour transformation modelling to support energy efficiency and environmental sustainability systems – modelling of the energy efficiency performance of buildings as lived-in, carbon foot-print modelling, dynamic (re)planning and execution monitoring, semantic workflow modelling and multi-agent decision support.
  • Virtual user and living laboratory based user-driven integrated requirements prioritisation and dynamic usability evaluation methodology (UI-REF), virtual-user environments for user‐centred usability-accessibility of UX by Co-design, Pleasure and Pain Theory and Human Judgement and Decision Making, perceived pleasure-pain-gain-based modelling of user’s ranked requirements, and, usability evaluation (UI-REF) with proof-of-concept in the rehabilitation engineering application domain, ambient assisted living, eHealth and well-being support systems.  Psycho-cognitively inspired dynamic man-machine usability relationship modelling to support enhanced, secure, man-machine interaction for mobile life/work-style support including advanced persona-preferences engineering (UI-REF), personalised interactive spaces for mobile open-model e-learning and training autonomy support, assessment technologies supported by usability and learning analytics and advanced stream mining for learning object personalisation,  Training Specification Language (TSL) to support adaptive e-learning delivery, testability and safety certification frameworks for Robot-Human-Interaction (RHI) and Social Machines.
  • Real-Time hardware-accelerated FPGA/GPU-enabled pattern matching, Bio-Inspired Computer Vision Algorithms implementation and Real-time Safety Cognitive Dashboards for semantic-cognitive control of autonomous systems e.g. intelligent cars/cameras and assistive body-area or companion devices such as intelligent prostheses/orthoses to support rehabilitation engineering e.g. as in exo-skeleton, exo-cortex (Corbys), and, security solutions engineering.