Richard Kingston is an INSPHERO who joined early last year. Here’s a little interview to help you get to know him a little better.
What do you do at INSPHERE?
My job title is Principal Automation Engineer. I have a long history of working with industrial robots and metrology systems, especially when the two are used together. At INSPHERE I do a good variety of work. I spend around half my time working on internal research projects. I also spend one day per week working from Factory 2050 at the AMRC in Sheffield.
What did you do before INSPHERE?
Prior to joining INSPHERE, I worked at Hexagon as a Product Line Specialist for Automation and Robotics. Before this I was at the MTC In Coventry where I worked within the Automation and Metrology themes.
How would you describe the team and working environment?
I tend to work mostly by myself as I live a good distance from the office. I try to get into the office at least once every week so that I can catch up with everybody there.
Can you tell us about some of the research work you have been doing?
My main area of research work is within an Innovate UK project called RoboMADE. The project aims to create an improved industrial robotic machining platform using an ultrasonic machining spindle with external metrology monitoring.
What is most challenging about your role?
The technical challenges are many and varied within the research work I'm currently performing. These are mostly software challenges which I find very enjoyable.
What is different about working for INSPHERE compared to anywhere else you have worked?
During my early career I mostly worked in a small company with between 2 and 15 people, but since then I've found myself working in larger companies. I have to say that I'm happy to be back working in a small company where I enjoy the small company culture. The amount of freedom to innovate and agility is a refreshing change.
How do you see metrology evolving alongside robots?
There are many synergies between robots and metrology. Robots can be used to automate the metrology process and metrology can be used to aid robots in situations where high accuracy is required. As manufacturing develops, more bespoke production metrology will be essential and both of the roles will become ever more important.
What do you enjoy doing when you are not working?
I have a 9 year old daughter who is very active. We enjoy the outdoors as much as we can, particularly going for bike rides and visiting Wales for a bit of hill walking.
Where is the most interesting place that you have visited?
I've travelled a lot in my life, but a few places stick in my mind. My most interesting trip was probably my honeymoon. We spent a couple of weeks travelling via the west coast of the USA to Bora Bora - one of the most special places I'll ever encounter.
Where are you planning your next trip?
We don't tend to plan our holidays much in advance, but in recent years we have taken to doing road trips around the USA. Maybe we'll do the same again next year, or maybe somewhere else will take our fancy.