[robotics-worldwide] Doctoral position available in swarm robotics at IRIDIA, Brussels, Belgium

Vito Trianni vito.trianni at istc.cnr.it
Fri May 27 06:19:41 PDT 2011

IRIDIA-CoDE, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels, Belgium

A PhD Studentship is available within the context of the H2SWARM  
Project at IRIDIA-CoDE, the artificial intelligence lab of the  
Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium. The project aims at the study  
of hierarchical, heterogeneous robotic swarms (see below). The project  
will start its activities on September the 1st, 2011, and will last  
three years. It is sponsored by the European Science Foundation  
through national founding agencies, and involves the following partners:
- IRIDIA-CoDE in Brussels, BELGIUM,
- KU-Leuven, BELGIUM

The student we are looking for should possess a degree that allows to  
embark in a doctoral program (doctoral student positions). The area of  
competence should be in at least one of the following disciplines:  
Computer Science, Computational Intelligence, Electrical Engineering,  
Cognitive Sciences. A master's degree with research experience is an  
asset. The student should have a strong background in Computer  
Science, Physics, Mathematics, Statistics or other relevant  
computational disciplines. In particular, she/he should demonstrate  
very strong programming skills in one or more major computer  
languages. Good communication and team-working skills are essential.

The interested candidate should submit an application containing:
- An updated CV
- A two-pages motivation letter
- Three references (just name and contact details) from researchers  
and academics in the field

The selection process will follow gender equality policies.

Please address your application or informal inquiries to Dr. Vito  
Trianni (E-mail: vtrianni at ulb.ac.be).

H2SWARM: Hierarchical Heterogeneous Swarm, funded by the European  
Science Foundation within the EUROCORES programme "Bio-inspired  
Engineering of Sensors, Actuators & Systems (EuroBioSAS)". 2011-2014.

The main goal of the project is the study of hierarchical  
communication and control strategies for swarms of heterogeneous  
robots, which, despite the differences among sub-groups, coherently  
operate in an integrated manner to achieve a common goal. This will be  
achieved by looking at how Nature structures and organises large  
groups, such as ant colonies or honeybee swarms.

Various studies approached the design of control and communication  
systems for groups of robots, inspired by the social insect metaphor.  
All these studies belong to the Swarm Robotics field, which emphasises  
aspects like decentralisation of control, robustness, flexibility and  
scalability. However, Swarm Robotics is still far from tackling  
complex application scenarios that can be compared with classical  
engineering approaches. In this respect, the study of heterogeneous  
collective systems can lead to more complex applications, in which  
robots work in a tightly cooperating team. Heterogeneous swarms pose a  
number of research questions that have been investigated only to a  
limited extent so far. For instance, what are the relevant  
interactions among heterogeneous groups that can lead to an overall  
coherent behaviour? How to design self-organising robotic systems with  
multiple levels of organisation, which can allow intra- and inter- 
group coordination? How do swarm robotic systems compare with more  
classical engineering approaches in practical application scenarios?  
The proposed research project will address these questions with a  
multidisciplinary approach that is strongly grounded on biological  

Vito Trianni, Ph.D.					vtrianni@(no_spam)ulb.ac.be
IRIDIA-CoDE, CP 194/6				http://laral.istc.cnr.it/trianni
Université Libre de Bruxelles			Tel: +32 (0)2 650 2712
Avenue Franklin Roosevelt 50			Fax: +39 (0)2 650 2715
1050 Bruxelles

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