DSC01605 Projects


Robot Spider
Snake Arm Robot
Capsule Robot
Robot Light Touch Support
Robot Fish
Animatronic Koala Bear


Considering taking a project under my supervision?

Here is a link to my current projects for students.

If you would like to take a project under my guidance, you must first fill in this form and email it to me.

Once started, please plan your project into Aims, Objectives and Deliverables once you have watched this Powerpoint presentation with sound.

Please also read this concerning your project.

Research project:- Capsule robot (jumping bean)

This research is part of the Human Adaptive Mechatronics Group and aims to create a propulsion system that can be contained completely within the shell of a robot. This will enable it to be completely sealed from a harsh environment.

More information: Capsule Robot(jumping bean)


Research project:- Robot Light Touch Support

It has been found that the support of an unsteady/elderly person can be improved by just a light touch (non-supporting). This can take the form of a light assuring touch on the arm or the back.

This research, in collaboration with the University of Birmingham psychology department seeks to build a robot with the appropriate sensors to maintain a defined amount of contact. The robot is a Festo Robotino as it has omni-directional capability to follow a person moving forwards, backwards, left, right, and rotation on the spot.

A gantry of potentiometers connected to light sticks and rubber bands allows the robot to keep in constant contact and detect movement of the subject.

A video of the system is below:


Student Assignment Project:-GPS Guided Robot, Jason Whittaker, 2011

A homebrew all-terrain robot built from electric window motors is controlled using an AX500 motor driver, tablet PC, Playstation joystick and a Sparkfun GPS receiver. The robot is moved to a location. The 'fire' button is pressed and the PC reads the latitude and longitude coordinates. These can be stored in a file on the PC.

Once 'auto' mode is selected, the robot moves to the taught locations in order.

Teaching locations video:


Replaying locations video:


Student Undergraduate Project:-Robot Spider, Martin Garland, 2008


An excellent final year project in 2008. Built entirely by himself, Martin won two awards for this project; Gradex 08 and University Challenge. He has now gone on to work for EADS Astrium developing planetary robot rovers. He appears on 'iCould' talking about his experiences: http://icould.com/videos/martin-garland/ .

More information: Robot Spider

Dynamic stability sensing improvement by Jason Whittaker 2011:

Student Undergraduate Project - Tele-operated Robot Arm, Kai Longshaw

The TORA System which stands for Tele-Operated Robot Arms, which is a prototype system for the use of tele-operating a set of robotic arms in dangerous environments. The First Testing stage of the full system.

Student Postgraduate Project:-Snake Arm Robot Ali Akbar, 2009

Ali built this novel snake robot arm that was controlled by just one motor. A clever arrangement of solenoid valves and clutches controlled the wire lengths through the snake body.

More information: Snake Robot Arm



Animatronic Koala Bear, 2009

Built for the People's Theatre Company and their show 'How the koala learnt to hug'. This was set as coursework in our animatronics group. Electronics and supervision Sam Wane, Staffordshire University.

More information: Animatronic Koala Bear



Robot fish

This project hopes to be an initial stage in the process of a submersible robotic fish, using the swimming method typically adopted in this environment.  The biology of a real fish is looked into as well as mechanical fish. This device swims like a real fish as this is seen to be an optimal method of propulsion whilst saving on power consumption. Built by Steve Knight http://teamidris.tripod.com/ , supervised by Ian Moorcroft 


Dynamic force control of a robot gripper using a slip sensor

This uses a SMAC actuator from http://www.smac-mca.com/

PDF document to get you started.

Labview vi for controlling the gripper and dynamic slip sense.


Chess playing robot

This robot arm was constructed from Lego and is controlled by a chess playing computer. Student project by Martin Clarke. Supervised by Dave Hodgkiss and Ian Sunley.



A selection of research projects and my own projects





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This site was last updated 09/05/11