Director of studies: Dr Swen E Gaudl
2nd supervisor: Dr Martin Stoelen
3rd supervisor: Dr Phil Culverhouse
Applications are invited for a three-year MPhil/PhD studentship. The studentship will start on 1 October 2019.
We call for research into the application of variable stiffness actuators towards bipedal locomotion. Soft robotics, the application of various methods for creating compliant robots is a fast-growing area of research, one that potentially offers great improvements to robotics in general but industrial manufacturing as well as healthcare and rehabilitation as key topics in the EPSRC funding agenda. Variable stiffness actuators (VSAs) and adjustable compliant actuators are seeing potential applications in wearable robotics, prosthetics, co-located manufacturing and walking robots. These actuators feature elastic elements, which can store and release energy, minimise large forces due to shocks, and safely interact with people, when employed to create soft-bodied robots. The student would lay the groundwork for a vast area of further research as well as the commercial exploitation of the technology such as developing low cost VSA prosthetic legs and rehabilitation devices for which there is clear market, and external funding opportunities.