Dr. Morteza Azad

Office: Room 242 Computer Science (Y9)
Phone: +44 (0) 121 415 8203
Email: m.azad{AT}bham.ac.uk
Office hours: Mondays 16:00 to 17:00
          Fridays 16:00 to 17:00

I started my lectureship post in January 2017. Previously, I was a research fellow at the robotics group of the University of Birmingham. I studied my Ph.D. at the Australian National University where I was working under supervision of Dr. Roy Featherstone on designing control algorithms for balancing and hopping motions of under-actuated robots.
My main research interests are dynamics and control of robots particularly legged and under-actuated robots.

Student Projects

I am mainly interested in robotics related projects. This includes Kinematics and Dynamics, Modeling and Simulation, Manipulation, Control Algorithms, Optimal Control, Optimization and Learning.

Following is a list of potential projects that I would be happy to supervise. All projects can be supervised at mixed levels of difficulty.

  1. Implementing Optimal Control Algorithms in Simulation:
    This project is basically implementing existing optimal control algorithms using MATLAB and/or C++. Optimal control includes a wide range of different algorithms, though, I am more interested in implementing Model Predictive Control (MPC) algorithms. MPC is a method for controlling robots with permanently-updated optimal trajectories. The goal is to compare different algorithms in terms of performance and computational efficiency.
  2. Designing and Implementing Neural Networks to Control Robot's Motion (Walking or Hopping) in Simulation:
    This project will start with implementing algorithms which are proposed in different research papers preferably using C++. It includes designing a neural network and optimizing the weights of the network using an optimization technique. Depending on the difficulty of the implementation (which depends on the choice of the robot), the project may or may not include developing a visualization software to simulate the robot's motion using OpenGL.
  3. Implementing Impedance Control for a Planar Dual-Arm Robot:
    Impedance control is a method to control the dynamic interaction between a robot and its environment. This project involves implementing the existing impedance control algorithms on a planar dual-arm robot in simulation. Depending on the difficulty of the implementation, the project may or may not include optimization of the contact forces or the robot's configuration. This can be done either in MATLAB or C++ or even using other existing dynamic simulators.
  4. Implementing Robot Control Algorithms using Parallel Computation Methods:
    This project is about using parallel computing methods to implement robot control algorithms (preferably optimal control algorithms which are usually very time consuming) to decrease the computation time. Ideally, I would like to run these algorithms on GPU but running on CPU is also sufficient for the purposes of this project.