|Funding for:||UK Students|
|Funding amount:||From £18,000 Enhanced tax-free stipend, per annum, for 3.5 years|
|Placed On:||29th April 2022|
|Closes:||20th September 2022|
Title of studentship:
Robot Swarms for Environmental Monitoring: Investigating Functional Heterogeneity
Autonomous robot teams or ‘swarms’ have great potential to enhance monitoring of different environments, by providing a mobile sensor network that can cover a complex, dynamic area. This PhD project will help to develop important principles for the deployment of robot swarms in the field, with a focus on security applications. These principles will be validated through meaningful experimental data collected in robot field trials.
The classic starting point for robot swarm research is to assume agents are identical in their characteristics, for example in the ‘behavioural rules’ they follow in reacting to the environment and each other. However, in biology it is increasing recognised that diversity (heterogeneity) among group members can be functional (useful) for the whole group. Such heterogeneity includes variation in behaviour, robot form (e.g. rover, quadruped) and sensory capabilities. Such variation can confer important benefits, such as enhanced awareness of the environment, better response to risk, or more accurate collective decision-making.
This studentship will investigate heterogeneity in robot characteristics – starting with behaviour – to assess its effect on performance in relation to detecting anomalies that may be a security concern. The student will develop realistic simulations of ROS-based rover robots in the Gazebo simulator and at a University of Bristol field site. Experimental work (simulated and real) will be complemented by development of a conceptual framework to measure and predict the positive (or negative) impact of swarm heterogeneity.
The project is supported by FCDO Services, part of the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) of the UK.
How to apply:
Prior to submitting your application, please contact Dr Hunt with your CV attached for an informal discussion. No indication of an offer can be made until we receive your completed application.
To apply for this studentship, submit a PhD application using our online application system [www.bristol.ac.uk/pg-howtoapply]
Please ensure that in the Funding section you tick “I would like to be considered for a funding award from the Engineering Mathematics Department” and specify the title of the scholarship in the “other” box below along with the name of the supervisor. Interested candidates should apply as soon as possible.
By applying to this PhD, the applicant is agreeing to undertake UK security vetting if it becomes necessary during the PhD. Applicants are asked to declare any reasons why they might not be eligible to work in this area. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/united-kingdom-security-vetting-applicant
Applicants must hold/achieve a minimum of a Master’s degree (or international equivalent) in robotics, computer science, engineering (e.g. mechanical, electronic), physics, mathematics or other relevant discipline. Applicants without a Master’s qualification may be considered on an exceptional basis, provided they hold a first-class undergraduate degree.
Basic skills and knowledge required:
Enhanced tax-free stipend of £18,000 for 3.5 years
For questions about the research topic please contact Dr Edmund Hunt at Edmund.firstname.lastname@example.org
For questions about eligibility and the application process please contact SCEEM Postgraduate Research Admissions email@example.com
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