Haptic Teleoperation for Space applications

University of Bristol

PhD Fixed Term Bristol, UK

Uploaded 24 Jan 2020

Job Description

This is a PhD opportunity to join the dynamic and inter-disciplinary research communities of the Bristol Robotics Laboratory and the University of Bristol via the FARSCOPE CDT programme. FARSCOPE’s vision is ubiquity – robots everywhere – and will require a step-change in the richness with which robots interact with their surroundings. 

This project will specifically address the use of haptics in teleoperation for space applications. In-orbit robotic systems are being developed that can be operated from the Earth’s surface, removing the need for humans in-orbit to assemble large structures for lunar or planetary exploration in Low Earth or Cis-Lunar orbit. This approach is also expected to be developed for missions to the Moon or Mars where surface robotic systems would be operated from Moon or Mars orbit. 

The project will aim to assess the impact of signal delay/loss during teleoperation of a robotic arm when haptic feedback is available and to investigate into methods that can be implemented to support the dexterity and efficiency of the user during such events. Furthermore, different types of haptic feedback (such as tactile, kinaesthetic vibration) can affect the teleoperation capability of the operator in various ways. Exploring the effectiveness of various methods will provide a complete assessment of the challenge. 

Person Specification

We are looking for a committed and highly motivated PhD student holding an upper second-class honours degree in a Robotics, Engineering, Computer Science, Physical Sciences, Mathematical Sciences or a relevant discipline.

You should have strong mathematical and programming skills and be fluent in written and spoken English. If English is not your first language, please provide a recognised English language qualification at Profile E. Further information: http://www.bristol.ac.uk/study/language-requirements/profile-e

Please note that, whilst based at the University of Bristol, this EPSRC iCASE studentship requires a minimum of 3 months, usually working 1 day per week, to be spent on site at Thales Alenia Space, Bristol. Candidates will be required to undergo baseline security vetting.