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A fully funded PhD in Autonomous Mobile Robotic Systems for dismantling electrical vehicle`s battery pack

Project Description

About the Extreme Robotics Lab

The University of Birmingham Extreme Robotics Lab (ERL), is one of the leading university robotics labs in Europe dedicated to practical applications of robotics and AI to extreme environments. The ERL team are collectively working on robotic grasping and manipulation, planning and reasoning for fixed and/or mobile manipulators, robotic vehicles and navigation, robot dynamics and control, Computer Vision, machine learning and AI.

Our Lab is currently leading >£50million projects, spanning multiple countries. Funding agencies include EU H2020, and UK EPSRC research councils, Royal Society, InnovateUK, and industry. We offer potential for: i) travel and collaboration with top national, EU and international academic robotics labs; ii) active collaboration with a strong interdisciplinary team of multiple post-docs and PhD students on-site at Birmingham; and iii) interaction with industrial collaborators and potential for Knowledge Transfer and commercialisation activities in addition to the pure academic research.

A PhD student is sought to create and contribute to the creation of knowledge by undertaking a specified range of activities within Recycling of Lithium Ion Battery (RELIB) project, using expertise in robot manipulation and control of autonomous mobile robots. The UoB robotics team are collectively working on robotic grasping and manipulation; planning and reasoning for fixed and/or mobile manipulators; robotic vehicles and navigation; robot dynamics and control and Computer Vision, machine learning and AI. In particular we are looking for PhD students with expertise in mobile robotics, but with a heavy emphasis on applying state-of-the-art autonomous navigation methods and visual-based control.

The PhD candidate will focus on developing 3D autonomous navigation functionality with intelligent stereo vision, establishing collaborative task planning between the mobile assistant robot and the fixed main manipulators; integration of planning and control, accomplishing robust long-term autonomy in low-structured factory environments.

Project: Recycling of Lithium Ion Battery (RELIB)

The ReLiB team at Extreme Robotics Lab will tackle the most demanding technical challenges in sensing and robotic sorting.

The aim of this project is to implement the robotics techniques to remove the battery pack lid and to present individual modules to the sensor array and disassemble at cell level. The research activities of this PhD will be focused on developing an strategy to control a KUKA Mobile Robot (KMR) with a fixed LBR iiwa to assist a larger bi-manual manipulation setup, transport items between workstations, and to change the tools mounted onto different fixed robots arms. The successful applicant will work closely with roboticists at Extreme Robotics Lab.

Main Duties

The responsibilities may include some but not all the responsibilities outlined below:

• To use expertise in autonomous 3D visual navigation based on 3D obstacle avoidance and 3D path planning, to develop integrated robotic systems for disassembly applications, driven by automotive industry.

• Independently understand the relevant recent literature, in order to plan experiments and papers.

• Plan experiments and gather the data needed to publish ideas in leading international journals and conference proceedings.

• Write up work as papers, of sufficient quality to be published in leading international journals and conference proceedings.

Knowledge, Skills, Qualifications and Experience Required

• 1st class degree in robotics, control and automation, AI, machine learning, computer science, mechanical engineering or a relevant discipline, at Masters level, or an equivalent overseas degree

• Demonstrable knowledge of mathematics and algorithms for navigating robot vehicles, robot manipulation, computer vision and relevant machine learning methods.

• Demonstrated expertise and experience in 3D vision, i.e. working with point-cloud data and devices, is especially desirable.

• Strong programming skills, including extensive knowledge and experience in C++. Matlab, Python, JAVA also desirable.

• Ability to use OpenCV, VISP, PCL and other relevant open-source vision software libraries. ROS experience may also be useful, but ability to combine vision libraries with our lab’s bespoke C++ robot control software library is also important.

• Ability to program drivers and interfaces between robot(s) and external sensors

• Experience in operating KUKA robots (KMR, LBR iiwa), KRL programming, KUKA.RobotSensorInterface would be highly desirable, but not necessary.

• Applicants must meet the English language requirement of University of Birmingham:

To apply:

Send you CV and cover letter summarising your research interests and suitability for the position to Dr Alireza Rastegarpanah: []

Start Date: Starting as early as possible

Funding Notes

Funding is awarded on competitive basis, is available to worldwide students and it will cover tuition fees and living stipend.

How good is research at University of Birmingham in Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Metallurgy and Materials?
Metallurgy and Materials

FTE Category A staff submitted: 29.10

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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