Doctoral defence: Iman Dadras "Low Power Neural Network-Based Control and Actuation Solutions for Insect-Scale Robots”

On 27 June at 12:15 Iman Dadras will defend his doctoral thesis  “Low Power Neural Network-Based Control and Actuation Solutions for Insect-Scale Robots” for obtaining the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (Physical Engineering)

Professor Alvo Aabloo, University of Tartu
Professor Jaan Raik, Tallinn University of Technology

Professor Haralampos-G. Stratigopoulos
Sorbonne University, UPMC-LIP6, France

Summary: Envision a world where tiny robots, as small as insects, could autonomously perform tasks like exploring uncharted territories, assisting in search and rescue missions, or conducting environmental surveillance. These minuscule robots are not only cost-effective due to their minimal material requirements but also have the potential to operate in large numbers for extensive area coverage.
The challenge lies in equipping these insect-scale robots with the ability to power themselves and control their movements without external assistance. Traditional components are too power-intensive and add extra weight, which is impractical for such small robots. Consequently, insect-scale robots are often restricted by external power sources and control mechanisms, limiting their operational range.
This thesis introduces innovative solutions to empower these robots with self-sufficiency. It explores the use of low-power soft actuators inspired by natural movements, allowing the robots to conserve energy by crawling. Additionally, it proposes new energy-efficient circuits for processing visual information, enabling the robots to navigate their environment independently.
A notable achievement of this research is the development of a circuit capable of image recognition with exceptionally low power consumption. This advancement is a significant step towards the realization of autonomous insect-scale robots capable of undertaking diverse tasks in various environments.
The implications of this research extend beyond the current scope, setting the stage for future advancements in the field of miniature robotics. It opens up possibilities for deploying swarms of these robots in scenarios where their small size and autonomy can be leveraged to great effect, heralding a new era in robotics.

Defence can be followed in Zoom:   (meeting ID: 953 058 8152, passcode: kaitsmine).