Dr Iain Werry

It is very easy to be blinded to the essential uselessness of [their products] by the sense of achievement you get from getting them to work at all. In other words - and this is the rock solid principle on which the whole of the Corporation's Galaxy-wide success is founded - their fundamental design flaws are completely hidden by their superficial design flaws.
[So Long and Thanks for all the Fish - Douglas Adams; 1984]

Research


My current research interests are shaped by my background, and an interest in cognitive interaction, robotics and the use of technology in the rehabilitation of physical, developmental and neurological disabilities. Following a B.Sc in Cognitive Science from the University of Westminster, London, I obtained my Ph.D. from the Department of Cybernetics at the University of Reading, England, under the supervision of Prof Kerstin Dautenhahn and Prof William Harwin. My doctoral work involved the development of a small mobile robotic platform as a therapy aid for use with children with autism. This was a highly inter-disciplinary project, dealing with robotic architectures, programming, psychology, psychological rehabilitation, human-robot and human-human interaction, learning and development theory, interaction evaluation, safety issues in robotics, and other aspects of the complexities of both interpersonal interaction and robot development in the real world.

My current work focusses on the development and implementation of a set of tools for use with stroke patients, updating the current provisions to allow the gathering of data on the rehabilitation activities and patient performance in both a clinical and home environment, allowing data integration and feedback to be broadcast to both physiotherapists and patients. This work is being conducted as part of the Augmented Senses Group at the Singapore University of Technology and Design.

Publications

I have co-authored a number of papers, co-written three book chapters, presented at international conferences in France, Portugal, the UK and the US, had journal articles published, and been featured in New Scientist.

My Currect Project - SHRUG

I am currently working on a project to update the tools and equipment available to doctors and physiotherapists dealing with the rehabilitation of stroke patients. This work involves gathering data on both the movements and actions of the patient and on the tasks performed and using this data to guide the rehabilitation process to doctors, and provide feedback to the patients themselves.

The Aurora Project

I was the first researcher to be involved with the Aurora Project, aside from my supervisor, which I carried out for my doctoral work at the University of Reading. (The project was then moved with my supervisor to the University of Hertfordshire.) This project investigated the potential and development of a small, mobile robotic platform to act as a device for therapists working with autistic children.

PhD Supervision and Other Activities

I have been co-supervisor of four successful PhD students, overseeing their doctoral research work, investigations, evaluations, publications and final thesis. I have also acted as internal examiner for a final viva for a PhD student, evaluated publication submissions and been involved with a European FP7 research project.