Ali Shafti

Ali Shafti, B.Sc., M.Sc.
PhD student

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Ali Shafti is a PhD student under the supervision of Prof. Kaspar Althoefer and Matthew Howard. He received his B.Sc. in Electrical Engineering – Electronics and M.Sc. in Electrical Engineering – Microelectronics from Shahid Beheshti University and Amirkabir University of Technology (Tehran Polytechnic), Iran, in 2010 and 2013, respectively. He was a member of the Integrated Circuits Design Laboratory at Amirkabir University of Technology from 2010 to 2013 where he carried out extensive research on low power pipelined ADCs as well as RFIC design.

He joined the Centre for Robotics Research (CoRe) at King’s College London in October 2013 where he is conducting his PhD research on wearable electronics and sensing for medical robotics.

Description of Research

Ali’s work involves the creation of a system consisting of a network of wearable sensors that look into parameters concerning a person’s comfort objectively. The sensors are all custom made as part of the research and include Electromyography (EMG), hand gesture recognition and finger joint angle measurement sensors with the latter two based on novel approaches. The real-time data acquired from these sensors is fused together to provide the said assessment. Such a system can be used in health monitoring applications as well as for objective benchmarking of new tools and work plans in terms of effort, comfort and ergonomics. The project involves hardware and software design to develop the sensors and fuse their data as well the proposal of standard experiments to be carried out using this system to achieve accurate assessment of comfort and ergonomics. Ali is part of the EU FP7 project STIFF-FLOP where his system is used to verify the proposed comfort and ergonomic improvements of the new robotic tool for minimally invasive surgery.

Part of his work is to implement these sensors in the form of a wearable system that can be worn by the surgeon or any other user for continuous and long-term monitoring without disturbance. This has led him to research sensors embedded into textile and clothing as well as other types of substrates. Part of his work was used for the Parallel Practices project funded by the UK Crafts Council which sought to develop embroidered sensing systems:

He is also part of the EU H2020 project FourByThree where the aim is to create a new inherently safe industrial robot solutions that can be used in close cooperation with a human worker without limitations such as fences. The robot will also have an intuitive interface to facilitate interaction and programming by a worker without the technological background. KCL’s tasks include design of benchmarking experiments, variable stiffness control and learning by demonstration.

Research Interests

  • Medical robotics
  • Wearable sensor networks
  • Sensor interfaces
  • Analogue and digital circuits design



A. Shafti, M. Yavari, “A zero-crossing based 10-bit 100 MS/s pipeline ADC with controlled current in 90 nm CMOS”, Analog Integrated Circuits & Signal Processing (AICSP), Vol. 80, No. 1, pp 141-151, Springer US, 2014.

Conference Papers

A. Shafti, et. al., “Comfort and Learnability Assessment of a New Soft Robotic Manipulator for Minimally Invasive Surgery”, IEEE Engineering and Biology Society (EMBC), 2015 – under review.

A. Shafti, K. Althoefer, M. Howard, “A Low-cost Adaptable Muscle Activity Acquisition System for Wearable Applications”, IEEE Engineering and Biology Society (EMBC), 2015 – under review.

H. A. Wurdemann, S. Sareh, A. Shafti, Y. Noh, A. Faragasso. D. S. Chathuranga. H. Liu, S. Hirai, K. Althoefer, “Embedded electro-conductive yarn for shape sensing of soft robotic manipulators”, IEEE Engineering and Biology Society (EMBC), 2015 – under review.