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Dr Ze Ji

Dr Ze Ji


School of Engineering

+44 (0)29 2087 0017
Room C/1.07, Queen's Buildings - South Building, 5 The Parade, Newport Road, Cardiff, CF24 3AA
Available for postgraduate supervision
I have held multiple positions as a robotics and autonomous systems researcher and engineer in both academia and industry (Dyson, Lenovo, and Autonomous Surface Vehicles). My PhD was sponsored as part of the EU FP6 project, TAI- CHI (Tangible Acoustic Interfaces for Computer Human Interaction), which won the best exhibit prize of EU FP6 exhibition in Helsinki, Finland, in 2006.
I have very broad experience in robotics, including indoor mobile robots, humanoid robots, and outdoor unmanned autonomous surface vehicles. In particular, he has been focusing on research areas of simultaneous localisation and mapping (SLAM), computer vision, situational awareness, acoustic and tactile sensing, machine learning, swarm intelligence, robot task planning and knowledge representation.
At Dyson, as a robotics systems engineer, I have filed and published patents in the area of mobile robotics. The main project there was the Dyson 360 robot, which utilises a 360 camera for indoor localisation and mapping (Visual SLAM). I worked at Lenovo on service robotics, as a Robotic Systems Architect and Technical Leader of a team of 10 researchers and engineers with background of machine learning, computer vision, slam, cloud, and IoT. At ASV (Autonomous Surface Vehicles), I have successfully, as a core research member, delivered several projects funded by innovate UK, DSTL, and NOC/SBRI.
Before these, I had been working as a research fellow in academia for a number of EU FP6 & FP7 projects, such as TAI-CHI, IWARD (Intelligent Robot Swarm for Attendance, Recognition, Cleaning, and Delivery), ROBOSKIN (Skin-based technologies and capabilities for safe, autonomous and interactive robots), and SRS (Multi-Role Shadow Robotic System for Independent Living).

Robotics and Autonomous Systems Laboratory

I am also the operational manager of the Robotics and Autonomous Systems Laboratory. The laboratory has cutting-edge equipments for teaching and research.
  • One Care-o-bot 4 (advanced service robot)
  • Two Kuka lbr iiwa collaborative robots
  • Three Kuka youbot (mobile robots)
  • Several small turtlebots
  • And various advanced sensors used for robot navigation and multi-modal human robot interaction

Here is the group Github account for projects (quite empty so far) carried out in the lab.


For information about software tools I use, here is my personal blog with posts related to software tools, such as Emacs, Linux, and some programming related notes.


  • 2007: PhD (Systems Engineering) Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK
  • 2003: MSc (Computer Science) University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK
  • 2001: BEng (Electronic Engineering), Jilin University, China

Honours and awards

  • Won the best Exhibit by the EU FP6 project TAI-CHI "Tangible Acoustic Interface for Human Computer Interaction" in EC IST Exhibition, Helsinki, Finland, 2006
  • Best paper award, TAROS, Bristol, 2018

Academic positions

  • 2016 - present: Lecturer in robotics and autonomous systems, Cardiff University
  • 2014 - 2016: Unmanned Systems Engineer (R&D), ASV ltd
  • 2013 - 2014: Robotics Systems Engineer (R&D), Dyson Ltd
  • 2009 - 2011: Research Fellow, Adaptive System Research Group, University of Hertfordshire
  • 2007 - 2013: Research Fellow, Cardiff University

Speaking engagements













  • EN4100 Mechatronics Design
  • EN3062 Robotics and Image Processing
  • EN4062 Advanced Robotics
  • ENT604 Measurement Systems (Module Leader)


  • EN4100 Mechatronics Design
  • EN4062 Advanced Robotics
  • ENT604 Measurement Systems (Module Leader)


  • EN4100 Mechatronics Design
  • ENT604 Measurement Systems
  • Others, including Design and Lab







Ji Z (PI), Setchi R, Bigot S

Renishaw and Cardiff University Strategic Fund


3D characterisation of ALM processes

01 Apr 2019 - 31 Mar 2020

Ji Z (PI), Wu J, Setchi R.

Renishaw and Cardiff University Strategic Fund

£40,000 cash funding from the strategic partnership fund (total project value: £101,332)

Pushing the boundary of vision-based 3D surface imaging

01 Apr 2018 - 31 Mar 2019

Setchi R., Ji Z.

WEFO through ASTUTE and Industry

£884,673 including £652,661 from Continental and £232,012 from WEFO

Additive Manufacturing and Robotics to Support Improved Response to Increased Flexibility

02 Feb 2018 – 01 Feb 19

Research Areas

Mobile Robots:

To update. Computer Vision related: Visual SLAM, Visual Servoing, Vision Odometry

One of my most valuable experience in this area is the work on the Dyson 360 Robot project:

Watch a video of the research in YouTube

Another project is the EU FP7 project, SRS, which focused on the development and prototyping of remotely-controlled, semi-autonomous robotic solutions in domestic environments to support elderly people.

SRS project (Service Robot)

Autonomous Vehicles:

As part my teaching activities (Mechatronics module), I led a team of 7 students to build a USV (Unmanned Surface Vehicle). The video below is the first trial at Cardiff Bay. We will keep developing the project in future.

Watch a video of the research in YouTube

Related research includes robot behaviours, such as computer vision and other sensors for collision avoidance and situation awareness, probablistic action planning, and intelligent motion control.

Sensing (Acoustic Localisation for Human Computer Interaction):

To update

Tactile Sensing and Human Robot Interaction:

To update

I am interested in supervising PhD students in the areas of:

  • Mobile Robotics, such as SLAM
  • Robotic Perception / Sensing
  • Robot Learning
  • Computer Vision / 3D Imaging
  • Acoustic Localisation