24 de mayo de 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 from researchers and academics in the field (name and contact details)

The selection process will follow gender equality policies.

Please address your application or informal inquiries to Dr. Vito Trianni (E-mail: vtrianni@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 studies.

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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