Robot swarms can be highly beneficial for a wide range of applications. Some of these require scalable groups of robots to act jointly over large distances (e.g. environmental monitoring and farming). This project studies the novel sparse swarm concept , which involves scalable groups of robots that operate while not being in close proximity to one another, and/or under conditions that prevent a rapid propagation of information within the group. Moreover, the integration of human operators is to be considered. The project is expected to identify novel algorithms that enable sparse swarms to monitor forest environments. The latter environments are particularly challenging for multi-robot systems, due the difficult terrain and limitations to line-of-sight interactions. Field experiments with a group of robots is encouraged. They would be facilitated by our most recent equipment, a group of high-spec outdoor rovers (Jackal UGVs, https://clearpathrobotics.com/jackal-small-unmanned-ground-vehicle/)
The applicant would join a vibrant group with excellent facilities (http://naturalrobotics.group.shef.ac.uk).
This is a self-funded research project. Prospective candidates should have a strong background in applied mathematics, computer science, engineering, physics or another related discipline, and be highly experienced in programming. We require applicants to have either an undergraduate honours degree (1st) 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: https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/postgraduate/phd/scholarships