Autonomous and Intelligent Systems

Rapid urban growth poses many challenges such as urban pollution, transport congestion, waste accumulation, high consumption of energy, and lack of skilled manpower which affect the liveability o​​f cities and compromise the quality of life. These complex challenges have opened up many new research opportunities that call for multi-disciplinary approaches for cost-effective and environmental friendly energy solutions, reduced carbon emission, automation solutions, sustainable manufacturing, and smart transportations. Industry 4.0 has been recognized as the key to address many of these challenges facing mankind. It takes what was started in the third industrial revolution with the adoption of computers and automation and enhances it with smart and autonomous systems fueled by data and machine learning.

Robotics and autonomous system have been well recognised by many countries as important for economic growth, improved quality of life, and empowerment of people. We have seen a surge of interest in autonomous systems including self-driving vehicles, industrial and service robots, unmanned aerial vehicles and so on, in the past few years. On the other hand, the global demand for energy is increasing rapidly due to the rising living standards and the growing world population. Providing sufficient energy while mitigating climate change will require breakthrough technologies in energy supply and energy efficiency.

The research in this thrust is drawn on the strengths and capabilities in Control Theory, Machine Learning and Optimization, Robotics and Autonomous Systems, Smart Manufacturing, Smart Buildings and Intelligent Transportations, Smart Grids, and Smart Energy Conversion Systems. The topics under the thrust are supporting the themes under RIE2025. Currently, the thrust has 36 affiliated faculty, 130 research staff, 137 graduate students and 7 laboratories including Robotics I Lab, Control Engineering Lab, Electric Power Research​​​ Lab, Internet of Things​ Lab, Clean Energy Research Lab, Process Instrumentation​ Lab, and Water and Energy Research​ Lab.


Sub-topicsResearch Centre(s)
  • Adaptive & Learning Based Control
  • Nonlinear & Robust Control
  • Networked Control & Multi-agent SystemsResilient & Secured Control


Sub-topicsResearch Centre(s)
  • Convex & Non-convex Optimization
  • Distributed Optimization
  • Game Theory 
  • Deep & Reinforcement Learning
  • Natural Language Processing
    Information Fusion



Sub-topicsResearch Centre(s)
  • Sensing & Perception
  • Multi-modal Sensor Fusion
  • Mission & Motion Planning and Control
  • Multi-Robot Coordination & Fleet Management
  • Human-Robot Interaction
  • Teleoperation
  • UAVs, UGVs, Mobile Robots & Manipulators



Sub-topicsResearch Centre(s)
  • Robotics & Automation
  • Planning & Scheduling
  • Internet of Things
  • Energy Efficiency & Thermal Comfort
  • Machine & Building Condition Monitoring
  • Traffic Routing & Control
  • Data Analytics & Mobility on Demand
  • Cyber-Physical Human Systems



Sub-topicsResearch Centre(s)
  • Renewable Generation & Energy Storage
  • Microgrid & AC/DC Hybrid Grid
  • System Stability & Reliability
  • Electricity Market & Demand Response
  • Big Data & Machine Learning 



Sub-topicsResearch Centre(s)
  • Solid-State Transformer
  • High Voltage DC Transmission
  • Wireless Power Transfer & Energy Harvesting
  • Motor Drive & Transportation Electrification
  • Health Monitoring for Power Electronics Systems