Biorobotics Laboratory BioRob
MINIATURE Mobile robots GROUP MOBOTS

Semester/Master Projects (Spring 2018)

Robot-plant interaction

Type of project
Semester or final master
Motivation
Implement and test an innovative interaction between plants and robots
Target students
Micro-engineering student interested in interdisciplinary studies
Supervisors
Francesco Mondada
Required skills
  • Good experimentation methodology
  • Interest for a bit of biology
  • Skills in constructing an experimentation environment

Project overview:

The European Flora Robotica project aims at studying the possible interactions between plants and robotic systems. Different options are being explored, combining fixed and mobile robotic systems and plants of different species. The purpose of this semester project is to create a two-way interaction between a group of mobile robots and beans. We want this biohybrid system to take decisions able to steer a group of robots (about 20 Thymio robots). The project aims to design the theoretical framework, implement it and carry out the first tests of the experiment that demonstrates this behavior.

Development and testing of an automated fish egg dispenser

Type of project
Semester or Master, depending on experience and ambition
Motivation
Create a new functionality to an existing product that will soon be transfered into industry.
Target students
Micro-engineering or Mechanical engineering student interested in design of robotic system
Supervisors
Frank Bonnet,

Project overview:

Description: Zebrafish are a very popular organism used in different scientific topics, such as behavioral biology, physiology, genetics, etc. One of the advantage of the zebrafish is its facility for breeding, as a female zebrafish can lay between 100 to 200 eggs per mating, and thus the number of samples is more than 10 times larger than for mice. However, one of the major task for the human that will breed the zebrafish is the sorting of the eggs, mainly based on visual characteristics of the eggs. This task is not easy to perform and time consuming, as the eggs are of small size. Recently, we developed a device to automatically sort the eggs based on their visual aspects. This device is planned to be commercialized soon, through a future spin-off of the laboratory.

The mechanical part of the device has been qualified. However, in the current version of the device, the eggs are stored in small containers but are not individually placed inside well plates, which is a requirement of the main users of the device. This project will consist of the design and testing of a prototype of an automatic dispenser for zebrafish eggs. It will include mechanical design, electronic design, as well as coding an interface in the current software for closed-loop control of the dispenser.

Main elements of project:

More information on the project

Design of an optical system and image processing for a device that automatically sorts zebrafish eggs

Type of project
Semester or Master, depending on experience and ambition
Motivation
Create a new functionality to an existing product that will soon be transfered into industry.
Target students
Micro-engineering or Electrical engineering or life science student interested in design of robotic system and imaging
Supervisors
Frank Bonnet,

Project overview:

Description: Zebrafish are a very popular organism used in different scientific topics, such as behavioral biology, physiology, genetics, etc. One of the advantage of the zebrafish is its facility for breeding, as a female zebrafish can lay between 100 to 200 eggs per mating, and thus the number of samples is more than 10 times larger than for mice. However, one of the major task for the human that will breed the zebrafish is the sorting of the eggs, mainly based on visual characteristics of the eggs. This task is not easy to perform and time consuming, as the eggs are of small size. Recently, we developed a device to automatically sort the eggs based on their visual aspects. This device is planned to be commercialized soon, through a future spin-off of the laboratory.

The mechanical part of the device has been qualified. However, in the current version of the device, the eggs are stored in small containers but are not individually placed inside well plates, which is a requirement of the main users of the device. This project will consist of the design and testing of new optics to observe a specific marker inside the zebrafish egg, the GFP (Green Fluorescent Protein). It will also include image processing, as the device will have to sort the eggs according to these markers.

Main elements of project:

More information on the project

Development of injection methods for a device that can automatically grab and sort zebrafish eggs

Type of project
Semester or Master, depending on experience and ambition
Motivation
Create a new functionality to an existing product that will soon be transfered into industry.
Target students
Micro-engineering or Mechanical engineering or life science student interested in design of robotic system
Supervisors
Frank Bonnet,

Project overview:

Description: Zebrafish are a very popular organism used in different scientific topics, such as behavioral biology, physiology, genetics, etc. One of the advantage of the zebrafish is its facility for breeding, as a female zebrafish can lay between 100 to 200 eggs per mating, and thus the number of samples is more than 10 times larger than for mice. However, one of the major task for the human that will breed the zebrafish is the sorting of the eggs, mainly based on visual characteristics of the eggs. This task is not easy to perform and time consuming, as the eggs are of small size. Recently, we developed a device to automatically sort the eggs based on their visual aspects. This device is planned to be commercialized soon, through a future spin-off of the laboratory.

The mechanical part of the device has been qualified. We recently discovered that the device could also allow automatic injection of the egg, which is a task usually perform by hand. We thus would like to invesigate the possibility to add this functionatly to the device. This project will consist of the research of solution, design and testing of a prototype to automatically inject the eggs that are inside the existing device.

Main elements of project:

More information on the project


Development of a tangible programming environment for Thymio

Type of project
Final master
Motivation
Develop and test a tangible programming environment for Thymio
Target students
Engineering or computer science student with interest in educational topics
Supervisors
Christian Giang
Required skills
  • Good programming skills
  • Experience with computer vision
  • Interest in educational topics

Project overview:

The use of tangible programming environments is a promising approach for introducing novices to the basic concepts of programming. The use of such environments seems to be particularly beneficial for young users, resulting in a better understanding and an enhanced experience while programming. The goal of this project is to develop and test a tangible programming environment for the educational robot Thymio (www.thymio.org). The environment may be realized using computer vision methods and implemented on Android and/or iOS devices. The work will be based on the existing programming languages Thymio VPL and Aseba. Interested students should be familiar with the aforementioned technical terms and preferably be interested in educational topics. Proficiency in English is mandatory, French/Italian/German would be a plus.

Contact

Prof. Francesco Mondada

Laboratoire de Systèmes Robotiques
EPFL-STI-LSRO
Station 9
CH-1015 Lausanne
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Tél: +41 (0) 21 693 73 57
Fax: +41 (0) 21 693 78 07