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Smart home monitoring and technological assistance for independent living

   Department of Computer Science

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  Dr Patricia Shaw  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

This proposal considers how smart home technology and robotics can be used in a wide variety of ways to support and assist independent living. This ranges from those with limited mobility to those with conditions such as dementia as well as more general support for the elderly.

Projects can range from different types of sensor monitoring to provide alerts for potential problems through to robotic technologies to support with everyday activities requiring fine dexterous control and coordination such as eating.

Through monitoring of a wide array of sensors throughout a smart home environment, large quantities of data will be generated with secure and ethical data management being a key consideration that should be explored and developed with the various stakeholders involved, e.g. resident, family, carers and support services.

Robotic applications can range from support companions through to robotics for assisting in specific tasks. Companion based robots could potentially provide individualised conversation and virtual connection to friends and relatives as well as remote medical assessments. Meanwhile other robotic applications could cover assisted navigation for wheelchair users, or support performing other day-to-day activities. Techniques involved can range from data intensive machine learning approaches, through developmental approaches to more reactive control techniques.

Assisted living can also require specific non-robotic devices to accomplish certain tasks. This could be devices to interact with the home (light control for example), to communicate with people (using other means that voice) or to interact with other devices (e.g., gaze control). Many of these already exist (and can be provided by social and/or health care services), but they tend to be badly integrated or thought out, especially for specific conditions. Projects could explore such devices to improve the technology and/or interfaces.

Members of the Intelligent Robotics research group cover the full breadth of these timely and important developments and offer a diverse set of possible PhD projects in these areas.

See for more information.

Funding Notes

-       Excellent candidates can be recommended to AberDoc scholarship(, deadline: 14. Jan, 2022), which will cover their tuition fees (up to the UK rate of £4,500 per annum*) and a maintenance allowance of approximately £15,609 per annum* and access to a travel and conference fund (max. £500 per annum*) will also be provided. 

-       Outstanding international candidates can also be recommended to the Departmental Scholarship, which will reduce the international tuition fee to a home fee.

How to Apply

Applications through Aberystwyth’s electronic application process (How to apply : Study With Us , Aberystwyth University), include the following attachments in pdf form:

-        CV

-       Degree certificates and transcripts (if you are still an undergraduate, provide a transcript of results known to date)

-       A statement no longer than 1000 words that outlines your research.

-       Academic references - all scholarship applications require two supporting references to be submitted. Please ensure that your chosen referees are aware of the funding deadline (to be determined), as their references form a vital part of the evaluation process. Please include these with your scholarship application.

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