ESR2 - Autonomous characterization of bond strength

Name: Ali Zarei

ESR No.: 2

Description of the IRP:

As a considerable area, the pulp & paper industry is needed to be optimized in terms of resource consumption and end-user product improvements. A sheet of paper consists of fibre networks; subsequently, the chemical and physical properties are basically dependent on fibres and fibre bonds properties. Thus, manipulating fibres and performing measurements on their mechanical properties are essential in this field.

Although the fibre-level measurements and related devices have a history of approximately 70 years, the technological developments for handling and characterizing the fibres are not satisfactory. Currently, a lot of fibre related measurements and manipulations are performed manually which slows down the experiments and therefore the whole fibre characterization process.

The main objective of this research project is to develop a fully automated and intelligent Micro-Robotic system for fibre characterization. As the research has been started in Tampere University, the current status of this project can be mentioned as follows:

  • Computer-vision-based algorithms for paper fibre detection
  • Algorithms for estimating the grasping points of the paper fibres
  • A 3D calibration and gripper tracking method for the micro-robotic platform
  • Characterization speed is about 10 samples/day.

Evidently, the measurement rate is very low, because a lot of manual work is still required during the aforementioned processes. By developing an intelligent platform, the first objective is to improve the measurement throughput into 100 samples/day which requires collection of a dataset for automating the processes based on real instances. The other goal is to measure the fibre properties for estimating the final product characteristics. The intelligent micro-robotic system should also be featured with a situational awareness capability to recover from unexpected failures.


  • Paper fibers, fiber characterization, artificial intelligence, computer vision, micro-robotic system

About the ESR:

After finishing my BSc (Sep 2010 - Sep 2014), in Electronics Engineering, with a thesis on implementation of basic digital communications system, I started my master (Sep 2015 – Feb 2018) in Communications Systems Engineering in Amirkabir University of Technology (AUT); my curiosity in the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI) led me to work on Source Identification of ADS-B signals using Deep Learning as my final project.

Having curiosity about practical implementation of communications systems, I joined Huawei Technologies Co. as a RF Engineer, in Network Performance Services section, in an international and multi-cultural environment (Sep 2016, Oct 2017). Furthermore, working on Embedded Devices and customizing MediaTek modules have been good experiences for intensive software implementation and project management (Aug 2018 – Dec 2018).

Currently, I’m a PhD candidate in the Faculty of Medicine and Health Technology, Tampere University. My research project would be on developing an AI platform for a fully automated micro-robotic system for fiber characterization; this research project is supervised by Prof. Pasi Kallio (TAU), Assist. Prof. Artem Kulachenko (KTH) and Leif Robertsén (Kemira).


Contact Information:

  • Ali Zarei
  • Department of Biomedical Sciences and Engineering, Tampere University (Hervanta Campus)
  • Tekniikankatu 3, 33720 Tampere, Finland
  • Email: