The University of Southampton

Dr Mohammad Divband Soorati Dr.Eng., MSc, BSc

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I am a post-doctoral researcher working in the group of Prof. Sarvapali D. (Gopal) Ramchurn at the University of Southampton.

I am the pricinple investigator of the “Trustworthy human-swarm partnerships in extreme environments” agile project in UKRI Trustworthy Autonomous System Hub. I have a Doctorate of Engineering from the University of Luebeck in Germany where I was a member of an EU-project, florarobotica. My supervisor and the coordinator of the project was Prof. Heiko Hamann. I have an MSc degree in Computer Science from the University of Paderborn in Germany and a BSc degree in Software Engineering from Iran University of Science and Technology.

I am interested in the human-swarm interaction, swarm robotics, trust in human-swarm teaming, aerial swarms, and evolutionary/ bio-robotics. My research has been covered by several international news outlets (including EuroNews, France24 and Deutsche Welle) and magazines (such as IEEE Spectrum, Robohub and Future Maisons).

I have co-supervised over 20 MSc & BSc students and I am in the program committee of many high impact conferences/journals in AI & robotics such as AAAI, ICRA, IJCAI, Swarm Intelligence Journal, etc.


Research interests

As a roboticist I work on: 1) Swarm Robotics & Multi-Agent Systems: I work on designing a large number of robots that can perform complicated tasks together. It is an open challenge to design algorithms for robots that can adapt to the dynamic features of the environment. Existing research on multi-robot self-assembly is mostly limited to predefined scenarios that reconfigure in long time-scales. I work on swarms that can autonomously adapt to dynamic environments and repair damage. 2) Human-swarm interaction: I study and develop methods of interaction between a team of human-operators and a swarm of robots that enables a trustworthy human-swarm teaming. 3) Evolutionary Robotics: Inspired by the Darwinian theory of evolution, evolutionary robotics emerged with great early success and is meanwhile struggling to scale to more complex tasks. I study how robots can be evolve to solve complex tasks with a minimum a priori knowledge. 4) Bio-Inspired Robotics: Can we get inspired and mimic nature to build autonomous systems? I would like to know how we can learn from organisms such as plants, slime molds, and animals to build amazing algorithms and behaviors.


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