The aim of this proposal is to assist the reintegration of the applicant into her new career environment, by implementing a research project which will span over a period of 12 months. The proposal aims to further exploit previous research carried out during a 3-year Marie Curie Industry Host Fellowship in Italy. One of the main focal points of the research project is to promote the use of embedded vision systems and neural architectures to develop intelligent control systems that are typical of robotic applications. This project, however, will extend these principles to a broader prospect, by promoting the use of embedded circuits to build miniaturised robotic systems characterised by their power efficiency, small size, low cost and high performance, thus increasing their suitability for autonomous use in applications where battery life, mobility and overall performance are crucial requirements. The project therefore investigates design paradigms that may be applied to constructing cost-effective robotic machines that can be used in environmentally hazardous conditions to perform tasks such as unmanned industrial applications, the search for survivors in emergency services, landmine detection, and aerospace applications. The research project will be carried out in three phases. During the first phase laboratory facilities will be established. During the second phase, the researcher and her students will familiarise themselves with the engineering of robots through laboratory experimentation. This will be combined with academic teaching of robotics courses to undergraduate students. Finally, during the third phase, five engineering students will be recruited to develop prototypes of autonomous robotic systems that employ embedded systems techniques for realising control, processing and artificial intelligence.
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