Connect-R: industrial-scale self-building modular robotics

To work as part of the Connect-R team in developing a large-scale (>10 cubic metres), self-building modular robotic system.
Description of the Project: 

Operations in hostile environments–such as those found in Nuclear Decommissioning, Oil and Gas, Mining, and Space–require the execution of sophisticated tasks. Examples of these tasks are: building structures, and deploying tools for inspection, lifting, and cutting. These environments pose a significant risk to the health and safety of manual workers. The safety of personnel can be mitigated by the use of autonomous robotic systems which can perform the required tasks in these extreme environments.

These environments present the following challenges:

  • Hazardous working environments requiring protective equipment and limited time windows for operation
  • Limited access through which to deploy the systems
  • Unstable structures present that prevent occupation
  • Lifting of heavy objects (~50kg) that require mechanical assistance
  • Processing of large volumes of liquids (1000s litres)

The Connect-R team are a collaborative group of SME, large enterprise, and academics who are developing an industrial-scale self-building modular robotic solution to provide access to work-sites in these hazardous environments.

There is scope for the PhD candidate(s) to be involved in many aspects of the project, ranging from design and build of the actuator modules, to task planning and functional decomposition.


Resources required: 
Laptop and access to labs in Edinburgh Engineering
Project number: 
First Supervisor: 
University of Edinburgh
First supervisor university: 
University of Edinburgh
Essential skills and knowledge: 
The candidate should have a background in EEE, MechE, or CS and have a good understanding of digital logic, HDL, FPGA, simulation (PSPICE).
Desirable skills and knowledge: 
Knowledge of ROS, enthusiasm to work in a multidisciplinary and commercial environment.