Graduates receive awards for their work on swarm robotics

Judith Wieser and Melisa Midžan were honored for their bachelor and master theses on robot swarms for search and collect missions.

The state of Carinthia honored nine outstanding academic theses in the broad domain of digital technologies and sustainability. Seven award winners are students or graduates of the University of Klagenfurt. Among them are Judith Wieser and Melisa Midžan, who worked in my team as teaching and research assistants for several years and whose award-winning work I was fortunate to supervise.

The students worked on autonomous, mobile robots for searching and collecting objects, for example, small garbage like cigarette stubs in a particular area or floating plastic residue on the sea’s surface.

Melisa Midžan’s goal was to gain an understanding of the system performance with a large number of robots through simulations. She implemented a system-level simulator in Python from scratch to visualize robot movement and evaluate performance and system stability depending on parameters such as the number of robots, the arrival rate of objects and their spatial distribution. Her master thesis identifies mobility models suitable for the collection of randomly distributed objects and provides guidelines for the dimensioning of a robot swarm for a specific collection task. Melisa graduated from our master program “Information and Communications Engineering (ICE).”

Judith Wieser took on the practical part. She implemented the system on small mobile robots in a simplified way and tested it in the laboratory. She demonstrated a collection system with five robots that coordinate and support each other. Her bachelor’s thesis provides insights into the challenges involved in the practical implementation of such a swarm robot system. Judith graduated from our bachelor program “Informationstechnik.”

This year, 24 applications were submitted to the jury (nine bachelor theses, 12 master theses, and three doctoral theses). The winners received 500 € for bachelor theses, 800 € for master theses, and 1.600 € for doctoral theses. In addition to Judith and Melisa, two other prizewinners came from our institute: Florian Huber (bachelor thesis advised by Bernhard Rinner) and Marija Gojkovic (master thesis advised by Wilfried Elmenreich in cooperation with Lakeside Labs).


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