>> Winner: "BAE Systems Prize for the best MSc Computer Science project in 2016/17" <<
This 3 month solo project was developed within the Dept. of Computer Science at the University of Bristol, with the clients being the Bristol Computational Ant Lab.
The initial brief was to investigate robotic solutions to enable height and entrance width dimensions of an artificial ant nest to be changed on the fly. This would help with complex systems research done within the Ant Lab on colony behavior.
However, I quickly expanded this project into a full modular framework of robotic systems that could be rapidly manufactured and assembled with tools available to the lab.
The final framework was a fully wireless device with two novel methods for detecting entrance and exit of small ants, involving capacitive sensing and IR(infrared) technology, as well as robotic control of internal nest dimensions and light intensity within the nest cavity.
The framework could be used to study the effect that changing the physical features of an ant's nest has on the behavior of ants on an individual and colony level, and how nest selection can be artificially influenced by humans.
Academic Poster Presented on 10/09/17 shortly before development had reached completion.