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The application of soft robotics for the next generation of robot used for space exploration and astronaut assistance

Project Description

Supervisors: Prof. Samia Nefti-Meziani 0161 295 4540, Dr Steve Davis

The Centre for Robotics and Autonomous System at the University of Salford is one of the largest Robotics groups in the UK. It is a key partner in the recently awarded EPSRC Hub in Future AI and Robotics for Space (FAIR-SPACE). Advances in robotics and autonomous systems are changing the way space is explored. As humans extend their reach into space, they will need to rely more and more on robots and artificial intelligence to handle many repetitive tasks. In scientific exploration both manned and unmanned spacecraft will continue to go into Earth orbit as well as further into deep space. Robotics and AI will assist humans to increase what they are able to achieve and to enhance their safety.

Traditional rigid robots are well established and have proven successful in many manufacturing sectors. However, these systems are not suited to working close to, or in collaboration with humans as they are can be dangerous. They are also only suited to operation in structured environments. Robots used in space exploration need to be able to adapt to unknown objects within their environment and adapt to complex shaped obstacles. If they are assisting humans then it is essential that they interact safely with then, both inside and outside of a spacecraft. This project will develop new soft robotic hardware and associated control techniques for the next generation of robot used for space exploration and astronaut assistance.

A successful candidate will have an academic background in engineering, science or maths. Analytical and programming skills are desirable.

Entry requirements: The standard entry requirement for PhD study is a First or Upper Second class honours degree, or the overseas equivalent, in a relevant subject. In certain circumstances, a Lower Second class honours degree supplemented by a Masters degree, or appropriate relevant work experience, may be acceptable.

Applications can be made online through the link below:

For enquires regarding the application process please contact:
Catriona Nardone- 0161 295 3482

Funding Notes

This is a fully funded studentship which includes tuition fees, travel allowance and a stipend payment of £14,777 per annum. The post is open to UK, EU and international applicants.

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