Autonomous Robotic Detection and Correction of Surface Defects in Manufacturing

HAL Robotics Ltd
University of Glasgow

A major challenge facing all suppliers in manufacturing and construction is the inability to accurately detect surface defects in manufactured parts early on in automated manufacturing processes. This impacts efficiency and productivity, creates unnecessary costs, and leads to increased energy consumption and material waste.

Paul’s project is the development of an AI-based robotic solution, called HAL.AutoCorrect, which can autonomously detect, characterise, and correct these surface defects, including cracks, dents, and burrs. The software will be able to determine the defining characteristics, dimensions, and location of the defect, and use this information to generate a robotic process to correct the defect. The final product will function fully autonomously, requiring no human intervention, and will be integrated into the suite of advanced robotic programming capabilities offered by the project’s industry partner, HAL Robotics.

By developing a powerful and adaptive tool that can optimise both new and existing robotic processes, Paul’s project will help to address a long-standing challenge in the manufacturing and construction industries. Undertaking this research as a partnership between Paul’s industry partner, HAL Robotics, the University of Glasgow and the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland, will ensure the research is at the forefront of innovative technologies in computer vision, deep learning, and artificial intelligence, and help to drive the adoption of this technology in industry. Additionally, the strengths that each of these partners brings to the research in this industrial fellowship will help to develop a product that will help establish HAL Robotics as a market leader in robotics software.


Paul graduated with both a master's degree in Software Development and a Bachelor’s Degree in Physics from the University of Glasgow. He is currently a Senior Robotics Software Engineer at HAL Robotics in London, where he is undertaking his PhD in partnership with the University of Glasgow. Paul has previously worked as a Research and Development Engineer at the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland.