Designing Compliant Hybrid Actuators for Versatile Use in Mobile Robotics


   Cardiff School of Engineering

   Applications accepted all year round  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

Research Journey:

Are you passionate about robotics and eager to make a real impact in the field? As a PhD candidate on our dynamic team, you will have the exciting opportunity to explore the development of new compliant actuators with variable impedance capabilities for robotic applications. These innovative actuators are expected to transform and adapt to different terrains and conditions, paving the way for state-of-the-art hybrid actuators for wheeled and legged robot applications.

The project's first stage will involve exploring the capabilities of currently available actuators for mobile robots and investigating potential improvements by including variable impedance profiles. As a researcher, you will delve deep into the latest literature and cutting-edge technologies to develop your understanding of this exciting field.

In the next stage, you will explore designing energy-based or nonlinear control strategies to exploit the machine's capabilities for creating complex robot motions. Your research will be instrumental in developing a platform that can be experimented in challenging environments, helping to understand the capabilities and potential novel abilities of these exciting new actuators.

If you have a passion for robotics and a curiosity for cutting-edge research, this PhD opportunity is the perfect way to make your mark in the field. We welcome candidates who are excited about joining our team and being part of groundbreaking research that will shape the future of robotics.

Research Support:

The "Robotics and Autonomous Intelligent Machines (RAIM)" research group at Cardiff University offers a dynamic research environment for PhD candidates, providing access to cutting-edge facilities and high-end robotic technologies. Joining RAIM will provide you with invaluable opportunities to work with state-of-the-art equipment, collaborate with leading experts, and contribute to the advancement of mechatronics, robotics and autonomous systems. Your research efforts will be supported by the exceptional facilities and resources available within RAIM, ensuring that you have the tools and support needed to conduct innovative research and make significant contributions to the field.

Cardiff University:

In the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021, Cardiff University achieved a top 20 ranking in the UK for the overall quality of our research, with 90% of our research rated as world-leading or internationally excellent. Our inclusive approach to supporting research excellence across all disciplines has been exemplified by our commitment to empowering Cardiff researchers to deliver research that matters. This has been evidenced by a 100% submission rate and significant growth in our research community during the REF 2021 period.

As a member of the prestigious Russell Group, which consists of 24 leading research-intensive UK universities, Cardiff University prides itself on its world-class research staff, including Nobel Laureates, Fellows of the Royal Society, and members of other esteemed institutions.

Our research expertise and state-of-the-art facilities are sought after by industry and commercial partners, government bodies, and other organizations on an international scale. We actively contribute to economic growth and job creation in Wales and beyond by generating business ideas, supporting spin-out companies, and securing research contracts with a total value of £500M.

How to apply:

In the first instance, please send Dr Tafrishi () a cover letter explaining why you think you are a suitable candidate for the post, a CV and transcripts. Also, please describe how you plan to fund yourself during your study. There will be an interview after the first screening.

Applicant criteria:

The ideal candidate should have the following:

  •   A degree in robotics-related majors, e.g., mechanical, control engineering, or computer science with a 2:1 Honours undergraduate degree or a master's degree.
  •   A certain understanding of mechanism design, robot actuators, compliant mechanisms, control, and legged robots.
  •   Basic knowledge of solid-modelling programs, such as Solidworks or AutoCAD, and programming languages, including Arduino, MATLAB, Python, ROS, and more.
  •   Proficiency in the English language is essential for this role, and non-native speakers must achieve an overall score of at least 6.5 in the IELTS exam, with a minimum of 6.0 in each skills component, as per university requirements.

If you meet the above criteria and are excited about making a significant contribution to the field of robotics, we invite you to apply for this exciting PhD opportunity.

Engineering (12) Medicine (26)

Funding Notes

We are currently seeking self-funded PhD candidates. While potential funding may be available, candidates should seek external scholarships or funding options before/after successfully passing the university interview and screening process. Please note that if you have a specific external scholarship in mind and pass our evaluation process, we may provide support for your application. However, it is the candidate's responsibility to prepare and submit the scholarship application.

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