Dr Alireza Rastegarpanah is an interdisciplinary engineer with diverse research interests, although mainly focusses on robotics. His main interests include vision and sensing, robotic manipulation, human-robot interaction, AI and machine learning.
He is the Co-founder of Extreme Robotics Lab (ERL); ERL includes a 1,000m2 research lab on the university campus (more than15 different robot arms, dexterous hands, a variety of advanced vehicles, sensors and in-house super-computing), with an additional 500m2 industrial space off campus which houses extremely large heavy duty industrial robot arms (can manipulate half-tonne objects) and other equipment.
Dr Rastegarpanah leads the ERL Control and Manipulation team, and currently supervising eight PhD students along with several MScs and interns. His team's primary focus is on developing learning-based robotic systems for automating the testing, disassembly, and sorting of complex products, such as EV batteries, electric motors, and wind turbines, to extract critical materials (such as Lithium, magnet, Nickel, and cobalt) to contribute to the circular economy.
Dr Rastegarpanah graduated in robotics from the University of Birmingham in 2016. His PhD focused on developing an assistive-resistive robotic system for the rehabilitation of post-stroke people. His developed robotic system is made by a combination of an actuated parallel robot in conjunction with a passive platform. The motion signatures of the healthy leg attached to the passive platform will be mapped to the affected one attached to the active parallel robot. The mapping between two legs is developed based on kinematic relationship between two legs during a normal gait. His developed system is showed case in various clinics and rehabilitation centres. He has extensive knowledge medical robotics and parallel robots.
Dr Alireza Rastegarpanah is an accomplished Scientist who has received more than £1.6 million in grant income (as of April 2023). He has led numerous research projects throughout his career, and he is currently involved in multiple projects aimed at advancing robotics and artificial intelligence technologies. He is a Co-Investigator of the €5M REBLION project, an EU initiative that aims to develop next-generation robots for the reuse and recycling of complex products, with a particular focus on EV batteries.
Dr Alireza Rastegarpanah also oversees the automation of the RELIB project (Reuse and Recycling of Lithium-ion Batteries), funded by the Faraday Institution. In addition, he is the Co-Founder of the National Robotic Testbed at the Birmingham Energy Innovation Centre, located in Tyseley Energy Park. This testbed is equipped with heavy-duty industrial robots and advanced sensors to demonstrate high Technology Readiness Level (TRL) robotic disassembly for extracting critical materials in an industrial-scale setting.
Beyond academia, he is also committed to disseminating his research to the wider public. He has conducted TV interviews, written news articles, and published scientific papers to share his research findings with a broader audience. Additionally, Dr Rastegarpanah has been actively involved in organizing and running STEM outreach events, aimed at inspiring young learners to pursue higher education in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. His dedication to education and outreach has earned him high praise and recognition, both within the academic community and beyond.