Meet The Team - Matthew Cole
What is your professional background?
I graduated in 2018 from the University of Glasgow with an MEng in Mechanical Engineering with Aeronautics, and Innovair is my first professional position since. My Master’s Thesis, conducted at the Institute for Systems and Robotics in Lisbon, was focussed on the cooperative control of fleets of autonomous marine and aerial vehicles. Additionally, I spent a year at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, where I worked with some of Europe’s top aerospace engineers on projects including wind tunnel testing and satellite mission design.
Encountering Innovair shortly after graduation was fortuitous; with their interests and mine being so well aligned. I bring academic and practical knowledge of a diverse set of subject areas, including robotics, control, programming, dynamic modelling, and simulation. I’m a tinkerer and bring the skills and creativity to make ideas come to life.
What is your Role within Innovair?
My role thus far has been varied, much of my time has been spent developing concepts and conducting feasibility study into our ideas for development and exploitation. I am also taking time to learn the demands of operating drones and conducting survey and inspection tasks – giving me invaluable perspective for the solutions we are working on.
The coming year will be an exciting time at Innovair, with growth plans involving the development of new technologies. To get these to a high readiness level I will be involved in design, prototyping, testing, analysing, and demonstrating what we can achieve.
Where do you see the future of Industrial Robotic Technology?
I am optimistic about the future of robotics in industry, with applications everywhere there is talent and creativity being squandered on repetitive, mundane tasks. I expect that in my lifetime; cars, factories, and aircraft will effectively operate and maintain themselves. Certain applications are well understood; factories introduced the first automation during the Industrial Revolution 200 years ago and continue to be at the forefront of adoption.
There are still so many missed opportunities outside the obvious uses of these technologies. Why waste an evening doing your laundry, or taking your car to the garage when it could do it itself? Why put people in harm’s way inspecting infrastructure? Why fill out the same form time after time? Automation and robotics can free up huge quantities of time, and massively reduce risk.
Robotic technology benefits industry outside of their direct efficiency and safety improvements; the data they capture, when intelligently analysed, has incredible untapped value. It becomes possible to quantify everything, spot patterns, and predict events – insights which will shape how contemporary businesses operate.
What do you see as the biggest challenge in delivering robotic solutions to Industry?
As a technology developer I believe things can and should be automated or conducted by robots. Demonstrating value through incremental change is not enough. We need to inspire industry with a vision of a future where everyone is safer, happier and healthier due to the workload they can delegate to their robots.