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Department of Computer Science

Formal Verification of Robot Teams or Human Robot Interaction

Primary supervisor

Additional supervisors

  • Michael Fisher

Additional information

Contact admissions office

Other projects with the same supervisor


  • Competition Funded Project (Students Worldwide)

This research project is one of a number of projects at this institution. It is in competition for funding with one or more of these projects. Usually the project which receives the best applicant will be awarded the funding. Applications for this project are welcome from suitably qualified candidates worldwide. Funding may only be available to a limited set of nationalities and you should read the full department and project details for further information.

Project description

Robots are being developed to work in small groups (robot teams) or may be designed to work in collaboration with humans (human robot interaction). The former might be necessary as it may take several robots at achieve some task, some to hold an item whilst others work on it, several to transport something etc. For the latter, robot assistants need to interact closely with the people they are working with.

It is important to make sure both robot-robot teams and human-robot teams can achieve the task where possible, can recover from failure, interact in a safe manner etc. Verification is the process that checks the system does satisfy these required properties. This is often carried out using simulation or real robot experiments. Formal verification is a mathematical analysis of systems using techniques such as model checking or temporal theorem proving.

This project involves developing and applying formal verification to robot teams and human robot interactions. Additionally, using different formal and informal verification techniques together to improve confidence in systems could be further investigated. This will help ensure that they satisfy the required properties and to investigate the robustness of the system to failure. You will need experience and interests in formal methods/formal verification for this PhD.

Person specification

For information


Applicants will be required to evidence the following skills and qualifications.

  • You must be capable of performing at a very high level.
  • You must have a self-driven interest in uncovering and solving unknown problems and be able to work hard and creatively without constant supervision.


Applicants will be required to evidence the following skills and qualifications.

  • You will have good time management.
  • You will possess determination (which is often more important than qualifications) although you'll need a good amount of both.


Applicants will be required to address the following.

  • Comment on your transcript/predicted degree marks, outlining both strong and weak points.
  • Discuss your final year Undergraduate project work - and if appropriate your MSc project work.
  • How well does your previous study prepare you for undertaking Postgraduate Research?
  • Why do you believe you are suitable for doing Postgraduate Research?