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Fully Funded EPSRC and Swansea PhD Scholarship: Collaborative Robotics Technology for Assembly & Disassembly of Fiddly Shaped Objects in Manufacturing Environment (CRTAD-FSOME)

Swansea University - Mechanical Engineering

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Swansea
Funding for: UK Students
Funding amount: £18,662 p.a.
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 12th December 2023
Closes: 28th February 2024

Funding providers: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and Swansea University's Faculty of Science and Engineering

Subject areas: Robotics 

Project start date: 

  • 1 April 2024 (Enrolment open from mid-March)
  • 1 July 2024 (Enrolment open from mid-June)

Project description: 

Assembly and disassembly of uncertain shapes, sizes, conditions, and fiddly shaped objects forms a great challenge in manufacturing when considered for automated and robotic processes. This is because it needs a lot of correct identification, dexterity, flexibility, and manoeuvring capabilities of the manipulators. In most cases, it ends-up for manual and tedious processes with limited or no robotics support to human operators. However, this results in increased cost of product repair, end of life decommissioning, and disassembly for replacing parts. This project will focus on understanding the technologies and methods required for flexible and adaptable autonomous assembly and disassembly processes using robotic manipulators associated with humanoid hands and vision system for human-like performance for uncertain shapes, sizes, conditions, and fiddly shaped objects. The project objectives can be summarised as: 

  • Conducting a fundamental investigation into human assembly and disassembly dexterity of fiddly shaped objects using both arms and hand. 
  • Using the knowledge obtained in achieving Objective 1, planning, testing, learning and adaptation strategies for an example assembly and disassembly operations. 
  • Using UR3E/UR5E robots and DLR-HIT II Robot Hands available in the robotics lab to build the infrastructure needed to implement the strategies developed in previous objective 2 in handling complex assembly and disassembly tasks. 

Eligibility

Candidates must hold an Upper Second Class (2.1) honours degree in Engineering or similar relevant science discipline. If you are eligible to apply for the scholarship (i.e. a student who is eligible to pay the UK rate of tuition fees) but do not hold a UK degree, you can check our comparison entry requirements. Please note that you may need to provide evidence of your English Language proficiency. 

Due to funding restrictions, this scholarship is open to applicants eligible to pay tuition fees at the UK rate only, as defined by UKCISA regulations.

Funding Details

This scholarship covers the full cost of UK tuition fees and an annual stipend at UKRI rate (currently £18,662 for 2023/24).

Additional research expenses will also be available. 

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