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Bio-inspired miniaturized light weight autonomous underwater vehicles and Manipulators for Sea Ocean Environments

   School of Physics, Engineering and Technology

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  Dr M A Post, Prof Paul Mitchell  Applications accepted all year round  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

Autonomous manipulation of objects underwater by robots is a challenging problem with regard to reliable perception and localization of objects, precise movement of lightweight manipulators, and repeatable grasping in changing water conditions. This project focuses on the use of cutting-edge technologies to enable an underwater robot such as the RoboFish prototype ( to locate and grasp underwater objects with a gripper or other end effector. Technologies used can include tension-based actuation and tensegrity arm and gripper designs for light weight and minimal surface area, soft or hydraulic methods for gripper actuation and morphing, and probabilistic machine learning methods for programming the control of the system. A wide range of potential applications for this research include marine biology surveys, aquaculture, and offshore infrastructure maintenance.

Entry requirements:

Candidates should have (or expect to obtain) a minimum of a UK upper second class honours degree (2.1) or equivalent in Electronic and Electrical Engineering, Physics, Computer Science, Mathematics or a closely related subject.

How to apply:

Applicants should apply via the University’s online application system at Please read the application guidance first so that you understand the various steps in the application process.

Funding Notes

This is a self-funded project and you will need to have sufficient funds in place (eg from scholarships, personal funds and/or other sources) to cover the tuition fees and living expenses for the duration of the research degree programme. Please check the School of Physics, Engineering and Technology website for details about funding opportunities at York.
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