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PhD position: Rapid Recovery of Resilient Robot Swarms

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

The School of Electronics and Computer Science (ECS) at the University of Southampton, UK is offering a 3 years fully-funded (fees and stipend) PhD studentship to UK/EU applicants for the development of resilient robot swarms. Ranked in the top one percent of universities globally, the University of Southampton has an international reputation for its research, teaching and enterprise activities. ECS is the leading department of its kind in the UK, with an established track record for world-leading research across computer science, electronics, and electrical engineering. The student will be supervised by Dr Danesh Tarapore () of the Agents, Interaction and Complexity group (AIC) based at ECS at the University of Southampton.

Robot swarms are large-scale multirobot systems with decentralised control which means that each robot acts solely based only on local perception and on local coordination with neighbouring robots. The decentralised approach to control confers a number of benefits in harsh environments. Robot swarms have the potential to take on numerous real-world tasks. In particular, tasks that require sensing or action over large areas or at a high spatiotemporal resolution, such as environmental monitoring, are candidates for application of future swarm robotics systems. However, robotic systems must be dependable and display a high degree of tolerance to faults before they can be deployed in real-world scenarios. This PhD project aims to develop algorithms for low-cost robot swarms to rapidly recover -- in no more than a few minutes -- from faults and damages sustained during operation. The project will take insights from various research disciplines including evolutionary computation, data-efficient machine learning, and swarm robotics.

Prospective candidates should have a first class degree and/or master’s degree in computer science, machine learning, artificial intelligence, robotics, or a closely related discipline.

Application procedure: Formal applications can be completed online: You should select “PhD Computer Science” as your research programme (Faculty of Physical Sciences and Engineering). Please note Dr Danesh Tarapore as supervisor and Agents, Interaction and Complexity as research group in your online application.

Informal inquiries can be made to Dr Danesh Tarapore () with a copy of your curriculum vitae and cover letter indicating your interest in the project and why you wish to undertake it.

Danesh Tararpore
Assistant Professor
School of Electronics and Computer Science
University of Southampton
Southampton, SO17 1BJ, UK

Funding Notes

The 3-year PhD project is fully funded and includes tuition fees and a generous stipend.

UK students, and EU students resident in the UK for over three years are eligible for funding.


1. A. Cully, J. Clune, D. Tarapore and J.-B. Mouret. "Robots that can adapt like animals." Nature 521.7553 (2015): 503-507.

2. D. Tarapore, A. Lyhne Christensen and J. Timmis. "Generic, scalable and decentralized fault detection for robot swarms." PloS one 12.8 (2017): e0182058.

How good is research at University of Southampton in Computer Science and Informatics?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 44.20

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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