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Soft Robotics Tactile Sensors for Healthcare

School of Engineering

About the Project

Applications are invited for one doctoral position in soft robotics at the School of Engineering, University of Aberdeen.

The successful candidate will undertake research focusing on modelling, designing and characterising bioinspired soft robotic sensors to enhance tactile sensing abilities in robots and prosthetics. Unlike their conventional rigid counterparts, soft robots utilize gels, elastomers, and fluids. This allows soft robots to operate under bending, stretching, and compression without losing functionality. Soft robots are often utilised in bioinspired robotics where the abilities of biological systems are investigated to help design robots that can efficiently adapt to the unstructured environments biological systems excel in adapting to.

For both humans and robots, touch plays a vital role in perceiving the environment. Touch is crucial for tasks such as picking up objects with varying shape, weight, compliance, and moisture without damaging them. Tactile sensing also plays a key role in rehabilitation devices and prosthesis. Effective touch sensors are pivotal in fields such as telemedicine, which allows robots to operate in medical applications remotely. In these cases, effective telepresence can allow otherwise impossible medical treatment.

This doctoral position will provide extensive opportunities to gain a multidisciplinary outlook through interactions with a wide network of academic and research partners at the School of Engineering, with research expertise ranging from bioengineering to control theory and machine learning. In addition the University of Aberdeen has one of the largest medical campuses in Europe.

Candidates should have (or expect to achieve) a UK honours degree at 2.1 or above (or equivalent) in Robotics, Computer Science, Electrical, Electronics or Mechanical Engineering, and related fields. A Master’s degree is preferable.

Essential background: Proficiency is required in at least one common programming language (C/C++, C#, Java, Python)along with excellent writing skills and a self-reliant well-organized style of working.

Knowledge of CAD and FEA would be an advantage.


• Apply for Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering
• State name of the lead supervisor as the Name of Proposed Supervisor
• State ‘Self-funded’ as Intended Source of Funding
• State the exact project title on the application form

When applying please ensure all required documents are attached:

• All degree certificates and transcripts (Undergraduate AND Postgraduate MSc-officially translated into English where necessary)
• Detailed CV

Informal inquiries can be made to Dr E Giannaccini (), with a copy of your curriculum vitae and cover letter. All general enquiries should be directed to the Postgraduate Research School ()

Funding Notes

This project is advertised in relation to the research areas of the discipline of Electrical and Electronic Engineering. The successful applicant will be expected to provide the funding for Tuition fees, living expenses and maintenance. Details of the cost of study can be found by visiting View Website. THERE IS NO FUNDING ATTACHED TO THIS PROJECT.

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