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Bioinspired stealthy hexapod gait pattern

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Tuesday, April 30, 2019
  • Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

Topic: Analysis of termite vibration signatures to innovate stealthy hexapod gait pattern

This project will sit with the
- School of Software
- Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering
- Centre of Audio, Acoustics and Vibration

The Centre for Audio, Acoustics and Vibration (CAAV) was formed in 2017 and now has nine full time academic staff. The Centre is based at Tech Lab, which is a brand new research led facility that is close to the airport in Sydney. Tech Lab hosts brand new state-of-the-art acoustics experimental facilities that includes an anechoic chamber, semi-anechoic chamber, reverberation room and sound transmission loss suite. These new facilities will support new research projects in acoustics, including this current project.

Walking of arthropods especially that of insects have inspired engineers and scientists in the past. While hexapods are being designed and build for life rescue missing in natural disaster regions, to climb walls and bridges, enter into otherwise inaccessible areas, little knowledge is yet adapted from nature to mimic a natural walking gait. Recent findings indicate that termites can walk very quietly and dodge predatory ants by avoiding excessive footstep vibrations, thereby staying up to 100 times quieter. Using the new acoustic laboratory facilities at TechLab as well as the Microstructural Analysis Unit, insect extremities will be studied for their dynamic and mechanical properties. The finer details of the legs will be examined including the resilin content in the leg joints using microscopy. The vibration signatures of ants and termites are explored studied in details using nonlinear time series analysis and statistical techniques as well as machine learning methods. The mechanical properties will be fitted into mathematical gait models which can be implemented into controls of commercially available hexapod designs using e.g. Raspberry Pi technology.

The successful candidate will work in a thriving acoustics research group at a brand new facility dedicated to impactful research and which will include the chance to collaborate with researchers in other areas at Tech Lab, as well as undergo research training and development. The project will develop an understanding of the vibration signatures in ants and termites and how to implement them inversely (coming from the response) into hexapods. The PhD candidate should have a strong skills in mathematics, especially statistics and machine learning. Knowledge of nonlinear dynamics and nonlinear time series is not expected but desired. The project will involve working closely with a partner from Defence. Only Australian citizens or permanent residents will be accepted. The scholarship is $42k p.a. tax free for three years plus extra project support.

About the Faculty
The Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology at UTS is a world-class faculty with a growing reputation for its quality and impact. Our research is highly advanced, industry-focused and part of the lively and rigorous research culture at UTS.

Focused on ’practical innovation’, our researchers are pioneering research solutions with real-world impact. They’re recognised leaders in their fields, responsible for delivering new, better and more cost-effective innovative solutions to current national and international challenges.

Over the last five years, the Faculty has received more than 60 Australian Research Council projects and attracted a total research funding well in excess of $30 million.

About the University
UTS is a dynamic and innovative university in central Sydney. One of Australia’s leading universities of technology, UTS has a distinct model of learning, strong research performance and a leading reputation for engagement with industry and the professions.

UTS has a culturally diverse campus life and vibrant international exchange study and research programs that prepare graduates for the workplaces of today

Funding Notes

AU$42,000 p.a. for Domestic Candidates for 3 years.

Closing date for next intake
Australian Domestic students: 30th April 2019 (for commencement July 2019) or 30 September 2019 (for commencement January 2020)

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