Study level


Vacation research experience scheme


Science and Engineering Faculty

School of Electrical Engineering and Robotics

Topic status

We're looking for students to study this topic.


Professor Matthew Dunbabin
Division / Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty


Robotic systems for deployment in frozen environments have many operational challenges. This can include:

  • mobility
  • power harvesting and storage
  • thermal management
  • sampling
  • path planning
  • communications.

We're currently developing robotic rovers for persistent (6-12 months) science missions in such frozen environments. A number of projects are available to address these challenges. We aim to test prototype systems that undertake autonomous scientific sampling tasks whilst having minimal impact on the environment and surviving these harsh conditions for long periods of time.

Research activities

Research activities will include exploring, evaluating and developing technologies suitable for frozen and snow-covered environments. This includes:

  • the mechatronic design of mobility systems
  • vision-based control strategies for autonomous soil and rock sampling
  • power harvesting and energy storage systems
  • path planning strategies for safe mobility.


The primary outcomes from this project include:

  • mechatronic design and tested prototypes for mobility, power and sampling systems
  • advanced robotic vision, sensor fusion and path planning algorithms
  • live demonstrations and videos showing algorithm performance on the developed prototype systems in representative environments
  • research technical paper writing for submission to top international conferences and journals
  • research presentations
  • exposure and experience in cutting-edge field robotics.

Skills and experience

To be considered for this project, you'll need to have a high GPA (above 6) with experience and skills in a number of the following areas:

  • mechatronics
  • prototyping
  • programming
  • path planning
  • algorithms
  • sensors
  • image processing.


You may be able to apply for a research scholarship in our annual scholarship round.

Annual scholarship round



Contact the supervisor for more information.