Professor William Harwin

University of Reading Lead - Work Packages 3 and 5

Professor William Harwin is professor of human and interactive systems at the University of Reading.  He has a research interest in human-robot interactions at all levels with a particular interest in the understanding of sensory motor feedback in humans and animals. This extends naturally to research on haptic interface design and rendering, the use of robots in neurorehabilitation for individuals following a stroke, and health care systems. He lead the first European group to investigate robot mediated stroke rehabilitation ( and is now doing research on both the mechanical and neuroscience aspects of neurorehabiiltation. Haptic interface research includes the control of large fast moving haptic interfaces for sports style movements, and the control and simulation of a haptic interfaces in dental training systems, the latter winning the medical futures award in 2011 and the BETT award in 2012 for Innovation in ICT. Professor Harwin is currently one of the collaborators in the Bristol University Sphere project looking at healthcare sensors in home environments. Other research includes cognition and control in robotics with projects that include ball skills for basic hand-eye coordination, novel tethered robots (EU acrobot), and coordinating aerial and ground robots for threat detection robots where the University of Reading won the 2008 MOD grand challenge award for best use of the nations talent. Professor Harwin has over 100 publications in academic journals, conferences and books in the fields of Human-machine interactions. Professor Harwin is leading the research on the role of 'on body' or worn sensors in the Sphere program with a particular interest in enabling the technology and integrating the 'on body' sensor data with all other sensor streams along with any a-priori information.