Robotics and Autonomous Systems Research Group

This research group carries out world leading research in robotics and autonomous robotic systems by investigating key research problems of sensing, control, decision making and system integration.

Swarm robots

The group is a major contributor to the activities of the Sheffield Robotics centre.

The collective competence of the group is unparalleled in the UK and covers most essential topics of this area: design of autonomous industrial robots, condition monitoring for fault tolerant autonomous systems, biologically inspired principles of sensing and control, international standards for autonomous robots, self-assembling robotic systems and swarms, advanced software architectures for decision making, autonomous hybrid systems modelling, formal verification, and distributed and parallel control systems.

Research themes

We are currently working on a number of research areas, including:

  • Soft robotics
  • Medical and healthcare robotics
  • Surgical and assistive
  • Swarm Robotics


With eight core academic members, who supervise many researchers, PhD students, and MSc students, we are an internationally renowned group in the area of robotics and autonomous systems.


Our research environment has a strong industrial focus and delivers impact through strategic partnerships with world-class engineering companies and via industrial research institutes.

Sheffield Microrobotics Lab
Led by Dr Shuhei Miyashita 

Our aim of the Sheffield Microrobotics Lab is to create miniature autonomous "life" in the form of miniature robots through the understanding of principles in nature, with the aim of broadening the possibility of robotics at a small scale.

Our research interests reside in the fields of Robotics, Self-assembly, Advanced fabrication, Material sciences, and Chemical & Biomedical engineering.

Visit the Sheffield Microrobotics Lab

Natural Robotics Laboratory
Led by Dr Roderich Gross

The Natural Robotics Lab provides facilities to experiment with medium-sized teams to large-scale swarms of autonomous robots.

The laboratory has various mobile and modular reconfigurable robotic platforms with more than 150 robots in total. It has a state-of-the-art equipment base including a 3D printer, motion tracking system, and a projector-based virtual environment.

Visit the Natural Robotics Laboratory website



Centres of excellence

The University's cross-faculty research centres harness our interdisciplinary expertise to solve the world's most pressing challenges.