Robotics Research Projects

Learning outcomes: On successful completion of the module, students should be able to:

  • Be able to formulate a short term research question, plan a methodology that involves making a robotic test bed, conduct experiments, analyse evidence, and make conclusions.
  • Apply robotics system design methods to develop an experimental prototype.
  • Select and utilize appropriate software in the programming and demonstration of a robotic system.
  • Be able to report test results in a structured manner (conference paper format).

Introduction

The service robotics industry is growing at around 15% now. However, there are many challenges to be solved to make them safer and efficient. In this regard, Design Engineers will come in handy if they know how to formulate clear questions about service robots and test them in a methodical way. These questions can span many aspects of a robot from mechanisms, user interaction, control systems and their interfaces, to machine intelligence. The most important challenge is to be able to design an experiment to quantify the factors that will add most value to a robot in a given user context.

In this module, students will come up with a user case for a robotic solution, develop a hypothesis about the effect of a design criterion on the user experience, develop the robotic solution (experimental set up), test, obtain measurements, analyse data, and write a report in a conference paper format (6-8 pages). This covers a training needed to complete the full cycle of a methodical study in a short span of 12 weeks to produce a scientific report with evidence and interpretations for management decisions.

Background

Suggested project scopes

Papers to read

Weekly schedule

Assessment

Resources available to you

Pepper robot

3D printers, standard sensors like force sensors, servo motors, 3D motion capturing systems, EMG sensors, our own soft sensors and actuators, force sensors, workshop area to fabricate things.

Related information

A talk I gave to a public audience about the challenges for robots to survive in natural environments:

A talk by Petar Kormushev on robot intelligence

A talk by Nicolas Rojas