About the project Swarm robotics is a field of research exploring the idea that very large groups (100+) of simple, cheap and replaceable robots could be robust in challenging environments. Such environments could include areas of pollution, for example on a lake with a fertilizer-induced algal bloom, or high radiation (c.f. the Fukushima nuclear plant disaster following an earthquake and tsunami). In such cases a swarm of robots could rapidly map an area and locate hotspots of concern much faster than a single robot. Yet swarm robotics so far remains mostly laboratory-bound. This project will contribute toward the engineering of a swarm of robots that can be deployed in the real world, through algorithm design and simulation (software) and/or robot design and build (hardware).
Why choose this opportunity? You will learn about the science of self-organisation, which is seen in collective animal behaviour such as ant colonies or fish schools. You will learn about the exciting field of swarm robotics, and have an opportunity to work at the Bristol Robotics Laboratory, a leading research facility.You will have the opportunity to design swarm robotics controllers and/or design a minimal swarm robot prototype, and build it using production technologies such as 3D printing. You will have the opportunity to investigate appropriate environmental sensor technologies for swarm applications, e.g. for radiation sensing or water phosphate measurement.
About you A scientific background in e.g. physics, mathematics, computer science, environmental science, etc. would be an advantage.
About the programme The Cabot Institute Masters by Research is a unique opportunity to work with a leading supervisor to deliver a one-year research project that you are passionate about. The programme will bring together exceptional students from all backgrounds with a common mission – protecting the planet and securing our future. As well as learning from your supervisor, you will learn from your fellow students; coming together to share your ideas and developing your problem-solving skills as part of an interdisciplinary team over the year. As well as being hosted within the Cabot Institute you will have a direct relationship within the relevant School for your research area, allowing you to fully take advantage of a wide-ranging research community. Alongside your research project, you will benefit from a unique personal development and transferable skills training schedule. These unaccredited, optional events will give you the opportunity to come together with your peers to improve your research skills and develop an innovative approach to the global challenges we face today. You will also be encouraged to propose your own interests for a seminar series, giving you a unique platform to mould your studies and get involved directly with the programme. The training schedule will focus on: • Interdisciplinarity & Collaboration • Innovation & Enterprise • Making your research a success • Research communications • Ignite your interests (your chance to propose ideas for a seminar series) You will also gain access to the Cabot Institute’s network of experts across academia, government, business and industry via networking events. These opportunities will not only support your research, but give you the edge in your future career, whatever that may be.
Programme fees per year: UK/EU Full time £6950, Part time £3560 Overseas Full time £21700, Part time £11100