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Modular robots: From changing shape to changing function


Department of Automatic Control and Systems Engineering

About the Project

Self-assembly processes are responsible for the generation of order in nature. They involve components at different scales, such as molecules, cells, and organisms. Scientists across many disciplines believe that the study of physical models of self-assembly can help in understanding nature and in advancing technology.

This project addresses the design and study of novel robots that are composed of centimetre-sized robotic units. The units could be self-propelled or externally propelled [1-4]. They could physically bind with each other, and disconnect at will. By self-assembly, they could produce modular entities of various shapes and functions on the fly. In the long run, this could lead to a new generation of adaptive hardware (transformable matter [1], devices, robots/vehicles, buildings etc). The project could focus on algorithmic/theoretical advances, practical implementations, or both.

The applicant would join a vibrant group with excellent facilities (http://naturalrobotics.group.shef.ac.uk).

Funding Notes

Prospective candidates should have a strong background in computer science, engineering (e.g. mechatronics), applied mathematics, physics or another related discipline. We require applicants to have either an undergraduate honours degree (2:1) or MSc (Merit or Distinction) from a reputable institution.

Applicants can apply for a Scholarship from the University of Sheffield but should note that competition for these Scholarships is highly competitive: View Website

References

[1] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bcaqzOUv2Ao
[2] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-lmo4dyUjxg
[3] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RgGi_mc4tOQ
[4] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CJOubyiITsE&feature=related

Full details of how to apply can be found at the following link: https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/acse/research-degrees/applyphd

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