Full EPSRC studentship for 3 years including Industrial Placement
Starting date: ASAP
With our esteemed industrial partner, we are looking for a well-qualified and motivated PhD student to conduct the following fascinating research project:
Applications of Unmanned Vehicles (UVs) include search and rescue operations in unknown environments. The degree of autonomy (intelligence) given to UVs depends on the type of missions these vehicles are meant to handle. The division of roles between intelligent on-board algorithms and a human operator has to be determined to provide an optimal decision making process.
In this study, an integrated use of multiple sensory cues that include, not only visual, but also haptic/active sticks to extract operation environment properties would be considered. Visual cues, although useful, can be prone to error, leading to false information. On the other hand, Haptic cues can provide additional distinct information about the environment, supplementing the visual information. This allows the end user to make an informed decision with greater confidence. The fusion of multiple sensory cues interacting with each other is not a well-studied topic. This is especially true for independently controlling the sensibility parameters of visual and haptic cues to study their effects on the UVs perception properties as a whole.
Using these cues will help improve the tele-operation capabilities of UVs and provide a reliable means for the human operator to stay in the loop for timely and efficient decision-making. Indeed, providing full autonomy to UVs is a topic still under debate, and civilian and military personal are still hesitant in giving full freedom to these machines although an increasing amount of work is being done to provide more intelligence to these vehicles. The study will also look at intelligence architecture and the type of decentralisation process to allow enough flexibility to the UVs for safe navigation and guidance while providing enough authority to the remote operator.
Entry Requirements -
Applicants must be UK nationals or EU students who have been resident in the UK for 3+ years. Applicants should hold at least a Bachelor (Hons.) Degree of either First Class or Upper Second Class or hold a Masters Degree (MSc/MRes) in Electrical/Mechatronics/Aerospace/Mechanical or any other relevant discipline of Engineering.
Candidates should have a good basis in mathematics and hardware integration/implementation with very good scientific programming skills (Matlab, C/C++).
Experience in image processing/vision, working with UAVs (Quadrotors) and robotics systems is an asset.
Good interpersonal and communication (oral and written in English) skills are also required.
Applicants are eligible for a bursary of up to £15,000 p.a. for the duration of the award dependent upon qualifications and experience. This studentship will cover the tuition fees for qualified UK/EU resident the last 3 years in the UK students only. Overseas students are not eligible for funding.
How to apply -
A CV and the name and address of two referees should be sent to Dr. Aouf at [email protected]
You can also contact Dr. Aouf by email for an informal discussion if required.