Persie Rolley-Parnell (Cohort Student representative)

Research project title: 
Robotic Control Inspired by the Object Manipulation Performed by Harvester Ants
Principal goal for project: 
To improve the current field of robotic manipulation by incorporating bio-inspired aspects based on harvester ants.
Research project: 

This project aims to use biological inspiration to improve the capabilities of robotic arms that manipulate objects in unknown and cluttered environments. The bio-inspiration is provided by harvester ants, and how they manipulate, pick up, and drag unknown objects; like food. By using ants, that have a relatively simple computational complexity, as a subject to find a solution to a complex task, the solution may be also computationally simple. I'm keeping an ant colony of harvester ants (Messor Barbarus), and you can find more information and photos of the colony's progress here: Instagram