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Advanced Manufacturing for Magnetic Soft Continuum Surgical Robotics

   Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences

About the Project

Soft and continuum robots have demonstrated efficacy in numerous applications, including delicate object handling and manipulation, rehabilitation devices, and surgical and endoscopic robotics. For proposed medical applications, the benefit of these systems comes from their highly compliant, long, slender structures allowing safer interaction with the delicate tissues of the human body while delivering the possibility to reach deeper into the anatomy in a minimally invasive way; thus enabling new and improved approaches to diagnosis and treatment. To continue the technological push of soft continuum robotics, numerous material and actuation approaches have been considered. Of these, magnetic actuation presents significant benefit due to wireless actuation and many controllable degrees of freedom within small, soft form factors.

However, as the range and complexity of magnetic soft continuum robot (MSCR) designs has increased it has exposed a dearth in specific advanced fabrication technology capable of maximally exploiting their potential. This PhD project will develop advanced fabrication approaches for tackling the critical design challenges of magnetic material distribution and orientation and structural reinforcement. The project will bridge mechatronics and robotics, soft robotics, materials and process control; offering a unique interdisciplinary opportunity for an ambitious candidate.

Funding Notes

A highly competitive School of Electronic & Electrical Engineering Studentship consisting of the award of fees at the UK fee rate of £4,596 or Non-UK fee rate of £25,500 (currently £17,668 for session 2022/23) together with a maintenance grant (currently £17,668 for session 2022/23) for 3.5 years. This opportunity is open to all applicants. All candidates will be placed into the School of Electronic & Electrical Engineering Studentship Competition and selection is based on academic merit.

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