Doctoral Project: Adaptive distributed collective decision making of bio-inspired robotic swarms

Principal Investigators

Description of the research project

The project investigates collective decision making in spatially distributed systems inspired by the behavior of biological collectives. Here, we are particularly interested in the ability of agents to change their social decision behavior and their social movement responses adaptively. The main research aim is to understand how these modifications of individual behavior affect collective decision making on adaptive spatial networks, and how these individual-level changes control the speed and accuracy of the collective decision-making process in various scenarios. The research involves two main parts: 1) Implementation of a bio-inspired, spatially-explicit, individual-based model for social movements and collective decisions, and systematic investigation of the speed-accuracy tradeoff through large-scale model simulations. 2) Design and performance of corresponding swarm robotic experiments for collective decision making under physical constraints (communication range, location, environment).

Application procedure

Applications should include: motivation letter, curriculum vitae, transcripts of records (for both BSc and MSc + doctoral degree if applicaple), copies of degree certificates (BSc, MSc), abstracts of Bachelor-, Master-thesis, e.g. doctoral thesis, list of publications and one selected manuscript (if applicable), two names of qualified persons who are willing to provide references, and any documents candidates feel may help us assess their competence.

To ensure equal opportunities between women and men, applications by women with the required qualifications are explicitly desired. Qualified individuals with disabilities will be favored. Applications are also expressly welcomed from suitably qualified persons seeking to be entered as “gender diverse” in the public register. The TU Berlin values the diversity of its members and is committed to the goals of equal opportunities.

Please send copies only. Original documents will not be returned.


Applicants preferably hold a master’s degree (or be close to completion) in Computer Science, Robotics, Electrical Engineering, or Physics and should have a background in:

  • Mobile / swarm robotics
  • Programming in C/C++ or Python
  • Interest in biological collective behavior
  • Very good knowledge of English

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