PhD studentship to work on safe swarms

I’m looking for a motivated PhD student to work with my Swarm Robotics team at the Bristol Robotics Laboratory to study safe swarms. You can read our recent commentary in Nature Machine Intelligence here.

Swarm robotics allows for the deployment of large numbers of robots in applications ranging from search-and-rescue to environmental monitoring. Swarming relies on simple agents, reacting to their neighbours and local environment, resulting on emergent collective behaviours. Because they work in large numbers, and without a leader, swarms are in theory robust to individual robot failures. However, research has shown that faulty or intentionally disruptive robots can have a large impact on the desired behaviour of a robot swarm. Understanding how to make swarms secure to such disruptions is key to their reliable deployment in reality, and their public acceptance. Results from this project will point towards guidelines to make swarms secure and effective by design.

PhD studentships start in September and cover tuition fees, stipends, travel and equipment for 3.5 years.

As part of our team, you’d be joining the Bristol Robotics Laboratory, which is one of the biggest robot labs in Europe, with a vibrant ecosystem spanning all of robotics. The swarm robotics team within the laboratory provides a highly multi-disciplinary environment specialising in large-scale swarm deployments for real-world applications spanning nanomedicine to environmental monitoring. You’ll have access to over 1000 robots.

This project is funded by the US Air Force Office of Scientific Research – European Office of Aerospace Research and Development.

An ideal candidate will have experience in robotics, and will have shown strong expertise in computer science and algorithm design, wireless networking, cybersecurity, or hardware deployment. Atypical and diverse backgrounds are welcome.

How to apply:
Please send your application by email to, including a cover letter, a CV, and the names of two referees. The subject of the email must start with the word ‘[jobs]’ in brackets or it will not be considered.