Diego Resende Faria, Ph.D.
  Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) in Computer Science
 School of Engineering and Applied Science,
 Aston University, Birmingham, UK
d.faria<"at">aston.ac.uk  - fariadiego<"at">gmail.com
         

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Short Bio

Dr Diego R. Faria joined the School of Engineering & Applied Science of Aston University (UK) as a Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in Computer Science in July/2016 and was promoted to Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) in May/2019. His research interests are focused on Human-Robot Interaction (Socially Assistive including Child-Robot Interaction in pediattric settings and Elderly Care); Applied Machine Learning, Perception and Autonomous Systems.

Currently, Dr D. Faria is the project co-ordinator of a prestigious EU CHIST-ERA project: InDex (2019-2022) - Robot In-hand Dexterous manipulation by extracting data from human manipulation of objects to improve robotic autonomy and dexterity (total award €1.2 million, €441k to Aston, funded by EPSRC). InDex (start date 04/19) is a collaboration between Aston University (Dr Diego Faria - PC, George Vogiatzis - Co-I), Sorbonne University, Technical University Wien, University of Genoa and University of Tartu.

Dr Faria is also PI and Co-I (2020-2022) of two projects (recently awarded 08/19) with SME's (KTP-UK scheme: Knowledge Transfer Partnership) related to Perception and Autonomous Systems applied to: Autonomous Vehicles; and NLP and Image Processing for multimedia retrieval . Both KTP projects summing up to £440K.

Dr Faria is the PI (2019-2020) of a project funded (equipment only £20K) by the Royal Society (UK): Sim2Real - from Simulation to Real Robotic Application using Deep Reinforcement Learning and Knowledge Transfer.

Dr Faria is currently in collaboration (PI UK side) with Brazilian Universities (UFPR - Federal University of Parana and UEL - Londrina State University) with the projects: (i) Stepping-stones to Transhumanism: Merging EMG and EEG signals to control a low-cost robotic hand for academia (collaboration with UFPR-Brazil and Ingeniarius Ltd - Portugal); and (ii) Engagement through AI-based Interactive Games: Neurocognitive training for children with learning difficulties (UEL - Brazil). Both projects are funded by CONFAP-Brazil and Newton Fund (the Royal Society UK) through mobility grants.

From 11/2017 to 03/2018 he coordinated a seed corn project "EMG-controlled Prosthetic Hand for Academia", funded by SARI, Aston University, to   collaborate with Ingeniarius Ltd (Portugal) towards the development of a  low cost 3D printed robotic hand controlled by electromyography (signals from the forearm muscles).  So far, Dr Faria held over £1.6M of research grants at Aston University.

He received his Ph.D. degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Coimbra, Portugal in 2014. From April 2014 to June 2016 he carried out his research as postdoctoral fellow at the Institute of Systems and Robotics, within the group of Automation & Robotics for Human Life, collaborating on the AMS-HMI project (Assisted Mobility Supported by Shared-Control and Advanced Human-Machine Interfaces), funded by FCT and the project Ambient Assisted Living funded by the ISR-UC. 

From 2006 to 2013 Dr Diego Faria has collaborated on different European Projects, such as HANDLE-Developmental pathway towards autonomy and dexterity in robot in-hand manipulation and BACS-Bayesian Approach to Cognitive Systems. From Oct/2013 to Aug/2014 he has collaborated on the project Pedestrian Detection in Urban Challenging Scenarios, funded by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT). In 2014, Dr. Diego (as core researcher, Co-I) together with Dr. Mahmoud Tavakoli (PI) had the concession of a grant from the CMU-Portugal program for the pilot project: Compliant Robotics Hands with Integrated Soft MEMS Skin (for Medical Prosthesis and Industrial Robotics Applications) - partnership between the ISR-UC and Soft Machine Lab of Robotics Institute at Carnegie Melon University (SML-CMU).

In 2017, he had the concession of a grant funded by the SEAS-Aston University to launch and coordinate the Artificial Intelligence & Robotics (AIR) club, which has the goal of preparing undergraduate and postgraduate students to apply AI concepts into practice using real robots (e.g. NAO’s, Pepper and Thymios) as an extracurricular activity.


Dr D. Faria is one of the coordinators (founder) of ARVIS Lab (Aston Robotics, Vision & Intelligent Systems Laboratory) at Aston University, within ASTUTE Institute.

NEWS


  • Aug 2019: Two KTP-UK (Knowledge Transfer Partnership) Project Grants Awarded in partnership with UK SME's (2020-2022) Related to Perception and Autonomous Systems applied to: Autonomous Vehicles; and NLP and Image Processing for multimedia retrieval. Both KTP projects summing up to £440K.
  • Aug 2019: Mobility Grant Awarded (Newton Fund (UK Academies) and CONFAP-Brazil) for a collaboration with a Brazilian university  (State University of Londrina - UEL) for 30 days with the project: "Engagement through AI-based Interactive Games: Neurocognitive training for children with learning difficulties". Partnership with Professor Pedro Paulo Ayrosa (UEL). This Mobility will happen in December 2019.
  • June 2019: Organizing (collaboration with Nottingham Trent University, UK) the 3rd Workshop on Human Behaviour Monitoring, Interpretation and Understanding (NOTION) at ACM PETRA 2019 (Rhodes Islands, Greece).

  • Nov 2018 - We have been awarded a prestigious CHIST-ERA programme project: InDex - Robot In-hand Dexterous manipulation by extracting data from human manipulation of objects to improve robotic autonomy and dexterity (total award €1.2 million, €441k to Aston, funded by EPSRC), for the topic: ‘Object recognition and manipulation by robots’. The project aims to capture and understand how humans perform in-hand object manipulation in order to replicate the observed skilled movements with dexterous artificial hands. InDex is a collaboration between Aston University (Dr Diego Faria as Project Co-ordinator, George Vogiatzis as Co-PI), Sorbonne University (Prof. Véronique Perdereau), Technical University Wien (Prof. Markus vincze and Dr Tim Patten), University of Genoa (Prof. Fulvio Mastrogiovanni) and University of Tartu (Prof. Alvo Aabloo). InDex will start in Feb/2019.
  • Nov 2018: Invited to deliver a keynote session at the workshop/winter school "Recent Advances in Industrial Digitalisation, Robotics and Automation" )that will happen in January 2019 (Nottingham Trent University).
  • July / Aug 2018: Mobility Grant Awarded (Newton Fund and Confap) for a collaboration with a Brazilian university  (Federal University of Parana) for 30 days with the project: "Stepping stones to transhumanism: Merging EEG and EMG signals to control a low cost prosthetic hand".
  • July 2018: Organising Special Session at IEEE Intelligent Systems 2018: Artificial Perception, Machine Learning and Datasets for Intelligent and Autonomous Systems. Submit your contribution, deadline (hard): Aug 15th. http://aramada-is-2018.com
  • Guest Editor for the SI on Bioinspired and Evolutionary Computation Approaches towards Coping with Complexity in Human-Machine Interaction, Complexity  IF 4.621 - Deadline: Sept 14th, 2018. You are invited to contribute to this issue submitting an article with a novel contribution or a review paper on the thematic of this special issue. More info at: https://www.hindawi.com/journals/complexity/si/241986/cfp/ 
  • May 2108: 2nd ARMADA'18 Workshop at IEEE RO-MAN. Submit your contribution (deadline Aug 2018). More info at armada-ro-man2018.ensta.fr

  • Oct 17: Guest Editor, SI on Artificial Perception, Machine Learnin and Datasets for HRI, Paladyn, Journal of Behavioural Robotics.

  • Sep 17: Organizing the Workshop on Artificial Perception, Machine Learning and Datasets for Human-Robot Interaction (ARMADA) at IEEE-ROMAN 2017 (Lisbon, Portugal);
  • Aug 2017: Invited Talk at RobotCraft 2017 (Summer School), Aug 21st, 2017, DEEC, University of Coimbra, Portugal.

  • June 2017: Organizing (collaboration with Nottingham Trent University, UK) the Workshop on Human Behaviour Monitoring, Interpretation and Understanding (NOTION) at ACM PETRA 2017 (Rhodes Islands, Greece).

  • Oct 2016: Invited to make part of the Organization of the IEEE-ROMAN'17 as co-chair of Workshops and Tutorials.


Teaching / Supervisions

2016-2019

  • MSc in Artificial Intelligence: CS4790 - Robotics and autonomous Systems (20 credits) - 2nd Term (2019/20)

  • MSc in Artificial Intelligence: Deep Learning (shared module) (20 credits) - 2nd Term (2019/20)

  • CS2150 - Computer Graphics (10 credits) - 1st Term (2016, 2017, 2018, 2019) - undergrad Computer Science

  • CS2040 - Multimedia Science: software and applications (20 credits) - 2nd Term (2017, 2018, 2019) - undergrad Computer Science

  • Distance Learning: DC1170 - Computer Systems and networks (10 credits) - Shared, I'm charge of Networks (2018)

  • Distance Learning: DC3440 - Data Mining (10 credits) (2018-2019)

 

Supervisions

Ph.D. (Computer Science / Electrical Engineering: Artificial Intelligence - Robotics)

  • Jordan Bird (2018 - in progress) "Perceptual and Continuous Learning for Human-Machine Interaction" (title subject to change)

  • Renato Barros Arantes (2019 - in progress - Co-supervision with Dr George Vogiatzis) "The use of simulated data for Machine Learning" (title subject to change)

  • Yingyi Kuang (2019 - in progress) "Deep Reinforcement Learning for Dexterous Manipulation" (title subject to change)

  • Michael Murray (2019- in progress Co-supervision with Dr George Vogiatzis) "Computer Vision for Improving Drone Safety" (title subject to change)

  • Jodie Ashford (2019 - in progress Co-supervision with Dr Felipe Campelo) "Development of Semi-Supervised Deep Learning Approaches for Predicting Biological Properties from Protein Sequence Data" (title subject to change)

  • Michael Pritchard (start: 01/2020) "Combining Brain- and Muscle-Computer Interfaces for Smart Prosthetics" (title subject to change)

  • Goodluck Oguzie (start: 01/2020) " Multimodal Semantic Perception for Self-driving Cars" (title subject to change)

M.Sc. (Computer Science / Electrical and Electronic Engineering / Artificial Intelligence)

  • Halimah Nadeem (2019-20) "A Natural User Interface through Hand Gesture Recognition to Teach Anatomy via Games", Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Aston University, UK.

  • Jodie Ashford (2018-19) "EEG-based Mental State Recognition for Human-Robot Interaction", Computer Science, School of Engineering and Applied Science, Aston University, UK.

  • Martin Rabone (2018-19) "Gesture Controlled Robot using Leap Motion", Computer Science, School of Engineering and Applied Science, Aston University, UK.

  • Abudallah Hussain (2018-19) "A Mind Controlled Robot using Electroencephalography", Computer Science, School of Engineering and Applied Science, Aston University, UK.

  • Michael Pritchard (2018-19) "Merging EMG and EEG signals to Control a Robotic Hand", Electrical and Electronic Engineering, School of Engineering and Applied Science, Aston University, UK.

  • Salahudin Shazlee (2017-18) "Let Pepper follow me: Using proxemics for safe navigation during a tracking task", Computer Science, School of Engineering and Applied Science, Aston University, UK.

  • Hamid Golzadeh (2017-18) "Facial Emotional Expression Recognition for Human-Robot Interaction", Computer Science, School of Engineering and Applied Science, Aston University, UK.

  • Darko Boateng (2017-19) "Robot Learning by Imitation", Computer Science, School of Engineering and Applied Science, Aston University, UK.

  • Rui Colaço de Almeida (2016) "Child-Robot Interaction: Handwriting Learning", Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Coimbra, Portugal. Research carried out at the Institute of Systems and Robotics, University of Coimbra, 2016. Supervisors: Dr Diego R. Faria and Prof. Urbano Nunes.

  • José Pedro da Silva Figueiredo Medeiros (2016) "Child-robot interaction: Learning by Imitation and Motion Generalization", Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Coimbra, Portugal. Research carried out at the Institute of Systems and Robotics, University of Coimbra, 2016. Supervisors: Dr Diego R. Faria and Dr Paulo Jose Monteiro Peixoto.

  • Mário Augusto da Costa Vieira (2015) "Recognition of Daily Activities and Risk Situations towards Robot-Assisted Living", Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Coimbra, Portugal. Research carried out at the Institute of Systems and Robotics, University of Coimbra, 2015. Supervisors: Dr Diego R. Faria and Prof. Urbano Nunes.  conf.paper

Final Year Projects (B.Sc. in Computer Scince - with Math / Multimedia / Business; B.Sc. in Digital and Technology Solutions; B.Eng. Electrical/Electronic Engineering)

  • Benjamin Sawyer-Reynolds (2019-20), "Teaching AI to Play Games via Evolutionary Reinforcement Learning", Computer Science, Aston University, UK.

  • Lewis Mackie (2019/20), "Cognitive Path Planning Using Collaborative Robotics", Computer Science, Aston University, Uk.

  • Charles Sims (2019/20), "Human-Robot Communication via speech recognition and natural language processing (chatbot)", Computer Science, Aston University, UK.

  • Matthew Moss (2019/20), "Mindcontrol: Robot control through brain-comuter interface", Computer Science, Aston University, UK., Computer Science, Aston University, UK.

  • Christos Dolopikos (2019/20), "MyoGestureControl: Using forearm muscle activities to control devices", Computer Science, Aston University, UK..

  • Aishwarya Kandukuri (2018-19). "Speech Recognition for Automatic Meetings Note Generation". B.Sc. Digital & Technology Solutions, Aston University.

  • Rabia Riaz (2018-19). "Natural User Interface for a Virtual Surgeon Simulator in Unity using Leap Motion". B.Sc. Computer Science, Aston University.

  • Iva Georgieva (2018-19). "Writing-Tutor for kids: web-based application for handwriting recognition using deep learning Techniques". B.Sc. Computer Science, Aston University.

  • Mohammed Miah (2018-19). "Multimodal biometrics for user authentication". B.Sc. Computer Science, Aston University.

  • Aliya Shah (2018-19). "Building our spellings: A developmental game for Kids in Unity using Leap Motion Senso". B.Sc. Computer Science, Aston University.

  • Thavisha Tennakoon (2018-19). "A new dual arm robot simulator for gesture learning and control in UNITY using Leap Motion". B.Sc. Computer Science, Aston University.

  • Damon Tran (2018-19). "Human-Robot Interaction through face, voice and object recognition". B.Sc. Computer Science, Aston University.

  • George Eker (2017-18). "Mobie Exense Automation using Image Processing". B.Sc. Digital & Technology Solutions, Aston University.

  • Jordan Bird (2017-18). "Learning from interaction: An intelligent networked-based human-bot and bot-bot chatbot system". B.Sc. Computer Science, Aston University.

  • MahBub Hussain (2017-18). "CNN Transfer Learning for Image Classification". B.Sc. Computer Science, Aston University.

  • Malvin Harding (2017-18). "Gesture recognition for smart home applications". B.Sc. Computer Science, Aston University.

  • Rajdeep Sokhi (2017). "Game Interaction for Children’s Education". B.Sc. Computer Science, Aston University, 2017.

  • Mohammed Shoaib Baseel (2017). "Assisted Living: An application for fall detection using MS-Kinect".  B.Sc. Computer Science, Aston University, 2017.

  • Janindri Wijesinghe (2017). "Improving the Usability of the Tribal College Mobile Application by using Evaluation Methods towards better User Interface Design and Efficiency". B.Sc. Computing for Business, Aston University, 2017.

 

Research Interests

  • Human-Robot Interaction (robot-assisted living, child-robot interaction);

  •  Grasping & Dexterous Manipulation;

  • Artificial Perception Systems / Autonomous Systems;

  • Pattern Recognition.

Hobbies

  • Robotics (Technology);

  • Sports : Martial Arts / Self defense; Gym; Football;

  • Guitar playing, Piano (I'm not an expert);

  • Watch Movies (Cinema / Theater).

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