In season 1 we talked about many different types of robot, working alone or directly with humans. One thing we didn’t get to touch upon very much is when robots work together with other robots, for example, as part of a swarm.
In the first episode of the new season, Claire chatted to two roboticists working on swarm robotics: Merihan Alhafnawi (University of Bristol) and Dr John Oyekan (The University of Sheffield).
Merihan Alhafnawi is a Robotics and Autonomous Systems PhD researcher at the University of Bristol. Working in the Bristol Robotics Laboratory under the supervision of Professor Sabine Hauert and Dr Paul O’Dowd, she researches swarm robotic systems, particularly how we can build swarm systems that are expressive so we can enhance the interaction between humans and robot swarms.
John Oyekan is a Lecturer in Digital Manufacturing in the Department of Automatic Control and Systems Engineering at The University of Sheffield, with expertise in sensing, AI, human-robot collaboration and swarm robotics. His work is characterised by both fundamental and applied research in collaboration with partners in the automotive, aerospace and manufacturing sectors. He is researching various novel algorithms that would enable robots to swarm and perform tasks such as mapping of hazardous environments and collaborating with humans to transport bulky materials.