Internet of Robotic Things (suitable for multiple students)

I am willing to discuss and supervise projects in the field of Internet of Robotic Things (IoRT).

IoRT is an emerging paradigm that brings together autonomous robotic systems with the Internet of Things’ (IoT) vision of sensors and smart objects pervasively embedded in everyday environments [1-4]. This merge can enable novel applications and business opportunities in almost every sector where cooperation between robots and IoT technology can be imagined. Early signs of the IoT-Robotics convergence can be seen in distributed, heterogeneous robot control paradigms like network robot systems [5], robot ecologies [6-9], or in approaches such as cloud robotics [10]. However, in order to unlock the potential of IoRT solutions, a number of fundamental technological and scientific challenges must be tackled to address the complexity, deep conflicts and also the security, safety and privacy concerns brought about by multiple heterogeneous things sensing, taking autonomous decisions, and moving and acting within the same dynamic and evolving environment.

Topics of interest to be investigated in this project theme include:
• Cloud IoRT platforms exploiting the robotic operating system (ROS) and cloud-robotic approaches for the dynamic configuration and coordination of IoRT systems
• Distributed ledger technology (blockchain) for the secure and decentralised management of IoRT systems, e.g. using smart contracts to promote IoRT-economy scenarios, where sensors, actuators and robots cooperate, share information and generally act in a coordinated manner in order to satisfy multiple applications objectives in dynamic and open-ended environments.

Each topic to be investigated will cover literature survey, design/implementation, and experimental demonstration. Students working on these projects will avail of a number of IoT/Cloud resources and mobile robots at experimental facilities at Heriot-Watt University.

[1] Vermesan, O, A Bröring, E Tragos, M Serrano, D Bacciu, S Chessa, C Gallicchio, M. Dragone, et al. 2017. “Internet of Robotic Things : Converging Sensing/actuating, Hypoconnectivity, Artificial Intelligence and IoT Platforms.” In Cognitive Hyperconnected Digital Transformation : Internet of Things Intelligence Evolution, 1–35.
[2] Simoens, Pieter, Mauro Dragone, and Alessandro Saffiotti. "The Internet of Robotic Things: A review of concept, added value and applications." International Journal of Advanced Robotic Systems 15.1 (2018): 1729881418759424.
[3] M. Dragone, Combining IoT, robotics and AI: where is the added value, where are the challenges, workshop at the European Robotics Forum 2017, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK, March 24,
[4] M. Dragone, Combining IoT and Intelligent Robotics, challenges and opportunities, workshop at IoT Week 2017, Geneva, June 7,
[5] Sanfeliu A, Hagita N and Saffiotti A. Network robot systems, Robotics and Autonomous Systems 2008; 56(10): 793–797.
[6] Saffiotti A, Broxvall M, Gritti M et al. The PEIS-ecology project: vision and results. In Intelligent Robots and Systems, 2008. IROS 2008. IEEE/RSJ International Conference on. IEEE, pp. 2329–2335
[7] M. Dragone, et. al, A cognitive robotic ecology approach to self-configuring and evolving AAL systems. Eng. Appl. Artif. Intell. 45, C (October 2015), 269-280.
[8] M. Dragone, J Saunders, K Dautenhahn, On the integration of adaptive and interactive robotic smart spaces, Paladyn, Journal of Behavioral Robotics, 2015
[9] M Dragone, S Abdel-Naby, D Swords, GMP O’Hare, M Broxvall, A programming framework for multi-agent coordination of robotic ecologies, International Workshop on Programming Multi-Agent Systems, 72-89, 2012
[10] Hu G, Tay WP and Wen Y. Cloud robotics: architecture, challenges and applications. IEEE network 2012; 26(3).

Supervisor name: 
Mauro Dragone
Supervisor and Deputy email addresses: