Professor Chris Melhuish

Director: Intelligent Autonomous Systems Laboratory

Faculty of Computing, Engineering and Mathematical Sciences
University of the West of England, Bristol
Coldharbour Lane, Bristol BS16 1QY
Phone: +44 117 3282539
Fax: +44 117 3283960










Our Mission. Top


The primary mission of IAS is to work out the underpinning mechanisms required to create robot systems which behave intelligently without human supervision, that is, act autonomously. Of course, this assumes that we really understand what intelligence is, what autonomy is and what, for that matter, a robot is. We all use these terms but if we reflect on it each of these categories of, intelligence, autonomy and robot ends up being very difficult to exactly ‘pin-down’ - there seem to be exceptions - ‘yes - but what about so-and-so is that still a robot - and each question leads to more questions - for example; does a system have to have intelligence to act intelligently? Is energetic and computational independence enough for a system to be considered autonomous? Do robots have to be made from discrete mechatronic units or can they employ different exotic materials - perhaps biologically derived materials?


Research Interests. Top


Energetically autonomous robots


Collective robotics


Robot systems employing neurologically inspired architectures


Decentralised control systems


Robot – human interactions



Current Projects. Top


  • Pilot Study: Self sustaining continuous microbial fuel cells Back

The ultimate challenge is to substitute fossil fuels (with their negative impact on the environment) with ‘green’ technology that works within the immediate carbon-cycle. One such system includes microbial fuel cells (MFC) that utilize a wide variety of cheap and widely available biological substrates, including low grade waste, to produce power. Geobacter MFCs can utilise acetate, a by-product of conventional systems that transform agricultural waste into hydrogen (a problem facing the sourcing of hydrogen for H2 fuel cells). Geobacter are fundamentally different since they form monolayers on electrode surfaces and use the anode as their end terminal electron acceptor. They don’t require mediator and can run continuously without loss of power. 


  • Pilot project: Smart Gut for Energetically Autonomous Robot Back

This EPSRC funded pilot project, starting in October 2005, focuses on the vital issues, for an energetically autonomous robot, of ingesting natural raw substrate, converting (and storing) it into useful energy and removing waste build up. This study focuses on the development of further mechanisms to be used in conjunction with the Microbial Fuel Cell (MFC) system developed in the IAS laboratory. An integrated system capable of extracting energy from food (waste or otherwise) will have tremendous potential in fields including autonomous robots and waste energy management.

A robot (Ecobot III)will be constructed which incorporates the novel developments outlined in this proposal. This platform will enable us to demonstrate long term energy autonomy in a robot by carrying out tasks which require more energy than the robot starts off with. That is, the robot has to acquire energy from the environment to carry out its work.


  • Functions of Distributed Plasticity in a Bilogically-Inspired Adaptive Control Algorithm: From Electrophysiology to Robotics Back

The central purpose of this EPSRC funded project is to set up a collaboration that will use robots to apply and evaluate novel, biologically inspired, algorithms for adaptive control. The three collaborating groups have expertise in electrophysiology (Edinburgh), modelling (Sheffield) and robotics (UWE).

Biologically controlled movement, as admired in animal and human athletes, is superior in certain respects to its robotic counterpart. One source of this superiority is likely to be the brain's control algorithms, in particular the algorithm implemented by the microcircuitry of the cerebellum. We propose to establish a multi-disciplinary collaboration to evaluate cerebellar-inspired control architectures for the adaptive control of robots. Gaze stabilisation will be the test problem, because of its prior extensive investigation in neuroscience. These investigations have shown that the cerebellum is essential for the adaptive calibration of the vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR), which assists gaze stabilisation by counter-rotating the eyes in response to movements of the head. Moreover, a surprising feature of the relevant cerebellar control network is that it uses two sites of plasticity, one within the cerebellum itself, and one in the brainstem related to the neurons to which the cerebellum projects, The three collaborating groups propose to:

(i) characterise the properties of this brainstem plasticity by electrophysiological recording;

(ii) construct models of cerebellum and brainstem to investigate the computational properties of the distributed plasticity;

(iii) implement and evaluate algorithms with distributed plasticity in the adaptive control of camera stability in a robot-mounted camera.

These combined studies will help to identify and implement novel features of biological control that contribute to its stability and robustness. Moreover, the proposed collaboration will address a crucial gap in UK science. At present there is no readily available infrastructure for roboticists to benefit from current discoveries in neuroscience, nor for neuroscientists to learn of relevant developments in robotics and control engineering, Setting up a modelling centre to facilitate this two-way communication has long-term potential for basic and applied research across a wide area of neurocomputing.


  • Whiskerbot: A Robot Whisker System Modelled on the Rat Mystacial Vibrissae (Facial Whiskers) Back

There are many mobile robot applications for enclosed spaces such as ducting or piping systems, underground structures, and the interior of disaster sites, where current progress is seriously hampered by the lack of equipment for detailed, “close-quarters” sensing. This stands in interesting contrast to the sensory capabilities of a large group of mammals, the rodents, for whom a key sensory system is the mystacial vibrissae (facial whiskers) that provides these animals with a rich tactile description of local surface shapes and textures. An EPSRC funded collaborative team of UWE roboticists and Sheffield neurologists and psychologists are designing and implementing a multi-whisker sensory system, modelled on that of the rat, capable of supporting object detection and surface texture analysis. This design will primarily be based on computational models of whisker-related neural circuitry in the rat brain but will also exploit advanced Digital Signal Processing (DSP) techniques where useful and appropriate. Our implementation will be tested on a real mobile robot platform, with and without, assistance from other sensory modalities. The principal outcomes anticipated will be: a) the development of an active whisking array for use in mobile robotics, b) verification that an active whisking array can be usefully employed for environmental sensing in enclosed environments, c) the development of biomimetic models of sensory processing systems in the rat brain, and d) a significant advance in the state of our knowledge about this new sensory modality.


  • Trajectory path detection and modelling using a swarm based sensory approach. Back

The aim of this project is to increase our understanding of decentralized robotic systems and how emergent properties may arise in such systems. In this study we will use a group of blimp-robots and use these robots to solve problems that require cooperation between them. In particular, we will use the swarm of robots to determine the trajectory of an object passing through the swarm. The robots will be fully decentralized in solving these problems, that is, only local communication between the robots will be allowed. The ability to solve problems will arise from the interactions between the robots, and the problem solving ability will thus be a property of the group, as a group, and not belong to each individual robot. To design such a system is by no means a trivial task, and very little theory exists. We will therefore try to take the first steps towards building a theory of decomposition of collective systems.


  • Smart Table: Massively Parallel Actuator Array Controlled by Non-Linear Medium. Back

In this EPSRC funded project we wish to: develop a theoretical foundation for the future design of an experimental parallel non-linear medium based manipulator, which intelligently transports, filters, orients and positions several objects at a time, and provide the basis for a further second phase, the hardware implementation of parallel non-linear media based actuator.

The ideal parallel manipulator is a massive array of simple actuators (with a small power density) that collectively and concurrently transport, orient and position several objects whose masses and sizes are very high compared to the forces generated by a single actuator. A parallel manipulator can operate several objects at a time, it is fault tolerant, each individual actuator is relatively inexpensive, and a modular structure of the parallel manipulator allows for mass production and scalability.

Examples in nature of parallel manipulators include the cilia arrays in paramecium, which generates coherent propulsive forces and the sea urchin’s tube feet, which allow for locomotion and object transfer. Potential applications of parallel manipulators not only include object manipulation and locomotion in automatic assembly lines and flexible manufacturing cells but will be vital as smart structures in vibration control, virtual reality and haptic technology and space operations to name only a few.


  • Humanoid Robotics - An active listening, emotionally expressive robot head Back

The emerging field of social robotics concerns robots that show aspects of social intelligence and social behaviour. Designing robots that are able to interact socially with human partners poses challenges that are very different from those posed by more conventional robotic applications such as manufacturing, since in addition to task specific behaviours, a robot’s social interaction skills are also highly important.  Such social interaction skills include the ability to recognise human expressions of emotion and to make recognisable expressions of emotion themselves.  A variety of humanoid robot systems have been developed that can make emotional expressions, but so far these robots have had only a very limited capacity to perceive the emotional states of humans.

The ultimate goal is to create the illusion of ‘active listening’ and empathy by means of an emotionally expressive, embodied, humanoid robot head that has the ability of mirroring back a narrator’s emotional state. Inspiration is drawn from established theories in psychotherapy and social psychology as well as recent advances in social robotics and machine vision.

It is particularly explored how, and to which extent one can achieve the illusion of psychological attending and understanding even though it lacks 'true' intelligence. Furthermore, based on statistical models and time series prediction algorithms, we aim to find new approaches towards enhancing human-likeness by generation of genuine, non-repetitive facial behaviour that exhibits a certain emotional state.


  • Designing Physical Artefacts from Computational Simulations and Building Computational Simulations of Physical Systems- Designing for the 21st Century Back

As part of a team led by the University of Westminster we are working on a EPSRC funded project exploring the design of physical artefacts. Designing for the 21st century often necessitates high-level knowledge or use of computational systems. Such systems are increasingly being used to    model   and simulate the world in which we live from the physical right through to the social. In contemporary art and design practice these computational systems are frequently embedded in products that have a physical presence in the real world. However, even though design is increasingly dominated by computation, it is   not clear that the relationship between these previously disparate disciplines is fully understood or exploited.

In this project, therefore, we are interested in exploring questions questions including the following:

  • How do we perceive and relate to the computational in the physical world?

  • What does it mean to simulate the real world in a computational environment?

  • How can we best explore and subsequently evaluate new modes of design thinking arising from the work of inter-disciplinary teams from art, design, science and engineering?

  • What is the difference between the mechanical and computational, between the physical and the virtual? What properties of a computational system change as we move from a closed, discrete world (i.e. the cellular automata (CA) model), to an open continuous one (the multi-agent system (MAS) model)?

  • How can we harness emergent properties of distributed systems in design?

  • And, finally, what models can we use to enable interdisciplinary teams to work together more productively?

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Past Projects include


  • Developing control and coordination mechanisms for micro-robots based upon the study of collective sorting in Leptothorax (Temnothorax) ants Back

This unique EPSRC funded collaboration studied Temnothorax ants, which in the creation of their nests do not explicitly co-operate in transport tasks. The novelty of this approach is that this study focused on methods which employed minimal communication and therefore are appropriate for exploitation by very small scale robots in the future. This is not a trivial problem. In order to sort materials in annular structures Temnothorax colonies have to solve many problems including; nest selection; brood and debris transporting and collective changes in behaviour. It is within this context in which the problem of annular sorting is posed. Our main objective was to develop a robust methodology  for the building of sorted structures where no individual robot builder has the ‘blue-print’ for the overall construction, no individual is in charge,  co-operation is implicit and without direct communication.


  • Structural self-organization in minimalist mobile robot networks Back

The EPSRC funded research aimed to build a theoretical and practical foundation for the generation of self-organised structures built from mobile robots. The self-assembled macro-structures will be composed of robots which have limited communication range; an example might be the formation of a multi-node sensor array in space or under sea where each robot is a node. To achieve such a goal demands the exploration of a number of difficult and important problems including; scalability (can the formation shrink or grow with the deletion or addition of more robots even though an individual robot’s communication range is fixed?), robustness and the self-organisation necessary for the repair of a structure. Secondary issues include the question of whether such a formation can be adaptive, i.e. change its shape in response to certain conditions. This approach requires the use of decentralized mechanisms employing local communication (where the range of robot-robot communication is significantly smaller than the ‘radius’ of the formation; there can be no ‘instantaneous’ global communication).


  • Control of robot navigation by active nonlinear media Back

This EPRSRC funded interdisciplinary project looked at computing abilities of reaction-diffusion active chemical media as applied to a problem of guiding mobile robots toward a target. A design of the chemical controller will explore basic features of space-time dynamic of travelling auto-waves, including generation and specific of wave interaction. The aim of the study was to explore an ability of chemical reaction-diffusion media to conduct information processing with parallel input-output interface and unreliable elementary computing processors (micro-volumes). Our main objective was to develop a reaction-diffusion processor specialised in guiding a mobile robot toward a specified target. The nature of reaction-diffusion computing allows its fast and reliable implementation in both conventional VLSI massively parallel processors and mono-molecular arrays at nano-level. The research  explored a theoretical and material basis for fabrication of hybrid silicon-molecular micro-machines, which utilise principles of massively parallel reaction-diffusion computing. Therefore laboratory experiments with real robots and real chemical processors are so important not only for validating theoretical ideas but constructing laboratory infrastructure for future research.. The project involved a collaboration between experts in physical chemistry, computer science and robotics.


  • Slugbot: Slug catching robot Back

In designing and building a robot system with a degree of computational and energetic autonomy comparable with an animal system that is able to operate in an unconstrained natural environment we have addressed the following key constraints: energy conservation, slug detection/collection, operation in a rough muddy environment, robust design and autonomous operation. As part of a ROPA funded study a slug collecting unit with integrated camera have been integrated into a novel gripper mechanism was designed and built. Slugs are most damaging in the first few months after seeding and at this time the field conditions require that the gripper can be traversed across a flexible crop with a relatively uniform height. However, field observations and experiments showed that even under these relatively favourable conditions, the detection of slugs proved to be a difficult problem, mainly because of the presence of non-slug objects such as living and dying vegetation, stones, and lumps of soil. A solution was found which operated within the serious constraints of low power budget vision and computation.

The detection of slugs is accomplished visually using one of the new generation ‘single-chip’ CMOS image sensors, which is small, lightweight, relatively low power (<175mW), of adequate resolution (164 by 124 pixels), and sensitive (down to 0.1 Lux). It is inexpensive, has a digital interface, and the maximum frame rate of 60 Hz enables reasonably high slug scanning speeds. This image sensor also has adjustable automatic exposure control, and can calculate the average image intensity of the last frame, and perform pixel level thresholding using an adjustable threshold.

The robot was able to reduce the complexity of the problem of the visual detection of slugs by developing a simple method of filtering out image components deriving from soil, living and dead vegetation, and stones. Since slugs are active mainly from dusk to dawn, some form of illumination of the image area is required. The solution employed exploits the use of a combination of coloured light and optical filtering to increase the relative visibility of slugs whilst decreasing the visibility of vegetation and earth.


  • Autonomous Aerial Sensor Vehicles Back

The aim of the BAE funded project was to explore the potential of collective autonomous aerial sensors employing parsimony in design. The use of a group of robots gives the system built-in redundancy, while simplicity of design offers the prospect of low unit cost. A number of flying blimps were constructed and evaluated.


  • Underwater robot sensors Back

A number of small  proof-of-concept  submersible robot were constructed as part of a Qinetiq funded project exploring the use of robots as underwater sensors.



Relevant Papers. Top


Collective/Minimalist Robotics

Energy Autonomy

Neurologically Inspired Robotics

Excitable Media and Novel Robotics

Learning and Control


Collective and Minimalist Robotics. Back


Holland O. & Melhuish C. (1996) “Getting the most from the least: lessons for the nanoscale from minimal mobile agents”, Artificial Life V, Nara, Japan (1996)


Holland O. & Melhuish C. (1996) “Some adaptive movements of animats with single symmetrical sensors”, 4th Conference on Simulation of Adaptive Behaviour, Cape Cod, 1996


Holland O. & Melhuish C. (1997) “An interactive method for controlling group size in multiple mobile robot systems.” International Conference on Advanced Robotics, Monterey, USA.


Holland O. & Melhuish C. (1997) “Chorusing and Controlled Clustering for Minimal Mobile Agents.” European Conference on Artificial Life, Brighton, UK.


Melhuish C., Holland O. and Hoddell S. (1998a) “Using Chorusing for the Formation of Travelling Groups of Minimal Agents” 5th International Conference on Intelligent Autonomous Systems, Sapporo,Japan.


Melhuish C., Holland O. and Hoddell S. (1998b) “ Collective Sorting and Segregation in Robots with Minimal Sensing.” 5th Conference on Simulation of Adaptive Behaviour, Zurich. pp 465-470.


Melhuish C., Holland O. and Hoddell S. (1999) “Convoying: Using Chorusing to form Travelling Groups of Minimal Agents” Journal of Robotics and Autonomous Systems Vol 28. pp 207-216


Melhuish C., Welsby J. and Edwards C. (1999) “Using Templates for Defensive Wall Building with Autonomous Mobile Ant-Like Robots” Proceedings of TIMR99 Towards Intelligent Mobile Robots. Technical Report Series, University of manchester. Proc. TIMR 99 “Towards Intelligent Mobile Robots”, Bristol 1999. Technical Report Series, Department of Computer Science, Manchester University, ISSN 1361 – 6161. Report Number UMCS-99-3-1.


Melhuish C. (1999) “Exploiting Domain Physics: Using Stigmergy to Control Cluster Building with Real robots” Proceedings of 5th European Conference on Artificial Life.


Melhuish C. (1999) “Employing Secondary Swarming with Small Scale Robots: A biologically Inspired Collective Approach”. in Proceeding of 2nd Internatational Conference on Climbing and Walking Robots – CLAWAR. Portsmouth U.K. Professional Engineering Publishing Ltd.


Melhuish C. (1999) “Controlling and Coordinating Mobile Micro-Robots: Lessons from Nature” in Proceedings of the International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition. IMECE’99. Nashville Tennessee.


Holland O. & Melhuish C. (1999) “Stigmergy, Self-organisation, and Sorting in Collective Robotics” Journal of Adaptive Behaviour Vol 5. No2.


Melhuish C. (2000) “Autostruosis: Construction without Explicit Planning in MicroRobots - A Social Insect Approach" Ed. Gomi T. Evolutionary Robotics vol III. AAI Books (Proceedings of the 7th International Symposium of Evolutionary Robotics. Tokyo.)


Melhuish C. (2000) "Autostruosis: A Social Insect Approach" in Hyperorganismen, Pub. Internationalismus Verlag.


Melhuish C. (2001) “Strategies for Collective Minimalist Mobile Robots” Engineering Research Series. Professional Engineering Publishing. ISBN 1 86058 318 0.


Mudie I,  Melhuish C. and Winfield A. (2001) “Ongoing Experiments in Autonomous 2D Shape Formation, With A View to Developing Autonomous 3D Formations With Unmanned Dirigibles”   Proceedings of Towards Intelligent Mobile Robots (TIMR). Manchester. April. Technical Report Series, Manchester University, Department of Computer Science.


Melhuish C., Wilson M. and Sendova-Franks A. (2001) “Multi-object Clustering: Patch Sorting with Simulated Minimalist Robots”   Proceedings of Towards Intelligent Mobile Robots (TIMR). Manchester. April. Technical Report Series, Manchester University, Department of Computer Science.


Melhuish C, Wilson M & Sendova-Franks AB (2001) 'Patch-sorting: multiobject clustering using minimalist robots', Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence, 2159, 2001, 543-552


Wessnitzer J., Adamatzky  A. and Melhuish C. (2001) “Towards Self-Organized Robot Formations: A Decentralised Approach” Proceedings of Towards Intelligent Mobile Robots (TIMR). Manchester. April. Technical Report Series, Manchester University, Department of Computer Science.


Welsby J and Melhuish C. (2001)  “Autonomous Minimalist Following in Three Dimensions: A Study with Small Scale Dirigibles”  Proceedings of Towards Intelligent Mobile Robots (TIMR). Manchester. April. Technical Report Series, Manchester University, Department of Computer Science.


Wilson M., Melhuish C. and Sendova-Franks A. (2001) “Patch Sorting: Multi-object Clustering using Minimalist Robots” Proc. European Conference on Artificial Life. Prague. Lecture notes in Artificial Intelligence, 2159, 2001, 543-552


Wilson M., Melhuish C. and Sendova-Franks A. (2002) “Multi-object Segregation: Ant-like Brood Sorting Using Minimalism Robots”  Proc. 7th International Conference on Simulation of Adaptive Behaviour SAB. pp 369-370.


Wessnitzer J. and Melhuish C. (2002) “Building Adaptive Structure Formations with Decentralised Control and Coordination” Proc. 7th International Conference on Simulation of Adaptive Behaviour SAB. pp371-372


Nembrini J., Winfield A. and Melhuish C. (2002) “Minimalist Coherent Swarming of Wireless Networked Autonomous Robots” Proc. 7th International Conference on Simulation of Adaptive Behaviour SAB pp 373-382


Wilson M.,  Melhuish C. and Sendova-Franks A. (2002) “Multi-object Segregation: Ant-like Brood Sorting Using Minimalist Robots. IEEE Systems, Man and Cybernetics Conference SMC 02.


Melhuish C., Welsby J., Greenway P. and Wright A.  (2002) “Multi-Robot Minimalist Collective Gradient Ascent:  Implementing Secondary Swarming” IEEE Systems, Man and Cybernetics Conference SMC 02.


Wessnitzer J. and Melhuish C. (2002) “Building Adaptive Structure Formations with Decentralised Control and Coordination” in IEEE Systems, Man and Cybernetics Conference SMC 02.


Sendova-Franks, A.B, Scholes, S.R., Franks, N.R. and Melhuish, C. (2004) Brood sorting by ants: two phases and differential diffusion. Animal Behaviour, Nov.  68:1095-1106 Academic Press (Elsevier)


Matt Wilson, Chris Melhuish, Ana B. Sendova-Franks and Samuel Scholes (2004) Algorithms for Building Annular Structures with Minimalist Robots Inspired by Brood Sorting in Ant Colonies. Journal of Autonomous Robots, Special Issue on Swarm Robotics.  17:115-136.


Sam Scholes, Matt Wilson, Ana B. Sendova-Franks and Chris Melhuish (2004) “Comparisons in Evolution and Engineering: The collective Intelligence of Sorting” Special Issue of Adaptive Behaviour  2004 12: 147-159.


Samuel R. Scholes, Ana B. Sendova-Franks, S. Tim Swift and Chris Melhuish (2005) No evidence for a gaseous template as a necessary condition for brood sorting in the rock ant Leptothorax albipennis.  Accepted for publication in the Journal of Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology.


Chris Melhuish, Ana B. Sendova-Franks, Samuel R. Scholes, Ian Horsfield and Fred Weslby (2005) Ant inspired sorting by robots: the importance of initial clustering. Accepted for publication in the Royal Society Journal Interface.



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Energy Autonomy. Back


Kelly I., Holland O. & Melhuish C. (2000) "Slugbot: A Robotic Predator in the Natural World" in Proceedings of 5th International Symposium on Artificial Life and Robotics. AROB.


Kelly I., Melhuish C. & Holland O. (2000) "The Development and Energetics

of SlugBot, a Robot Predator" EUREL: European Advanced Robotics Systems Masterclass and Conference, The University of Salford, Manchester Vol 2.


Stinchcombe F., Horsfield I., O’Keefe E., Melhuish C. and Irgens C. (2001) “Toniwha-bot: Towards Energetically Autonomous Marine Sensing” Proceedings of Towards Intelligent Mobile Robots (TIMR). Manchester. April. Technical Report Series, Manchester University, Department of Computer Science.


Kelly I. and Melhuish C. (2001) “A Slug Detection System for the Slugbot” Proceedings of Towards Intelligent Mobile Robots (TIMR). Manchester. April. Technical Report Series, Manchester University, Department of Computer Science.


Kelly I. and Melhuish C. (2001) “Slugbot: A Robot Predator” Proc. European Conference on Artificial Life. Prague. 2159:519-528.


Greenman G., Kelly I., Kendall K., McFarland D & Melhuish C (2003). "Towards Robot Autonomy in the Natural World:A Robot in Predator's Clothing"  in the Journal of Mechatronics.  Volume 13, Issue 3, Pages 195-228


Ieropoulos, I., Greenman, J., Melhuish, C. (2003) 'Imitating Metabolism: Energy Autonomy in Biologically Inspired Robotics', in Proceedings of the AISB '03, Second International Symposium on Imitation in Animals and Artifacts, Aberystwyth, Wales, pp 191-4, 2003.


Ioannis Ieropoulos, Chris Melhuish and John Greenman (2003b): 'Artificial Metabolism: Towards True Energetic Autonomy in Artificial Life', (in press), Advances in Artificial Life, Proceedings of the 7th European Conference in Artificial Life (ECAL 2003), Dortmund, Germany, pp 792-9.


Chris Melhuish and Masao Kubo (2004) Collective Energy Distribution: Maintaining the Energy balance in Distributed Autonomous Robots, the proceedings of 7th International Symposium on Distributed Autonomous Robotic Systems, June 23-25, 2004 Toulouse, France, p261-70,2004.


Ioannis Ieropoulos, Chris Melhuish and John Greenman (2004): Energetically Autonomous Robots, Proceedings of the 8th Intelligent Autonomous Systems Conference (IAS-8), Amsterdam, the Netherlands, pp 128-35.


Kubo M. and Melhuish C. (2004) Robot Trophallaxis: Managing Energy
Autonomy in Multiple Robots. In Proceedings of Towards Autonomous Robotic Systems 2004 (TAROS 04), university of Essex, England, September 6th - 8th (in press)


Ioannis Ieropoulos, John Greenman, Chris Melhuish and John Hart: 'Energy accumulation and improved performance in Microbial Fuel Cells', J. Power Sources (sp. ed.) (accepted for publication/in press).


Ioannis Ieropoulos, John Greenman, Chris Melhuish and John Hart. (2005) Comparative Study of Three Types of Microbial Fuel Cell. Journal of Enzyme and Microbial Technology. Vol 37/2 pp 238-245.


Masao KUBO, Chris Melhuish (2005) Energy Autonomy of Mobile Robots. ROBOMEC2005 Kobe, Japan 2A1-S-069, pp1-4(2005)


Ieropoulos, I., Melhuish, C., Greenman, J. and Horsfield, I. (2005). Artificial symbiosis: Towards a robot-microbe partnership. Accepted for presentation and publication in the Proceedings of TAROS 2005.


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Neurologically Inspired Robotics. Back


Ben  Mitchinson, Tony Prescott, Kevin Gurney, Peter Redgrave, Chris Melhuish, Tony Pipe, Martin Pearson and Ian Gilhespy (2004)  Empirically Inspired Electro-Mechanical Model of the Rat Mystacial  Follicle-Sinus complex  Royal Society Proceedings.


Martin Pearson, Ian Gilhespy, Kevin Gurney, Chris Melhuish, Benjamin Mitchinson, Mokhtar Nibouche, Anthony Pipe (2005) “Design and FPGA Implementation of an Embedded Real-Time Biologically Plausible Spiking Neural Network Processor” 15th International Conference on Field Programmable Logic and Applications.


Martin Pearson, Ian Gilhespy, Kevin Gurney, Chris Melhuish, Benjamin Mitchinson, Mokhtar Nibouche and Anthony Pipe (2005) A Real-Time, FPGA based, Biologically Plausible Neural Network Processor. International Conference on Neural Networks ICANN


Martin J. Pearson, Ian Gilhespy, Chris Melhuish, Ben Mitchinson, Mokhtar Nibouche, Anthony G. Pipe, Tony J. Prescott. (2005)  A Biologically inspired haptic sensor array for use in mobile robotic vehicles. Accepted for publication in proceedings of TAROS 2005, Imperial College, London.


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Excitable Media and Novel Robotics. Back


Kennedy B., Melhuish C. and Adamatzky A. (2001) Biologically Inspired Robots in In: Y. Bar-Cohen, Editor, Electroactive polymer (EAP) actuators -- Reality, Potential and challenges. SPIE Press. 0-8194-4054-X

Adamatzky A., Melhuish C., Holland O. (1999) “Morphology of Patterns in Lattice               Swarms: Interval Parameterization ” Mathematical and Computer Modelling. pp42. Accepted for publication.


Adamatzky A., Holland O., Melhuish C. (1999) “Laziness + Sensitivity + Mobility = Structure” Proceedings of 5th European Conference on Artificial Life..


Adamatzky A., Holland O., Melhuish C. (1999) “Hierarchies of Structured Aggregation in Simple Swarms: When Idle and Approximate is better than busy and precise” Proceedings of the 11th. International Congress of Cybernetics and Systems. Brunel University. Pp 287-291.


Adamatzky A. &  Melhuish C. (2002) "Phototaxis of Mobile Excitable Lattices. Journal of Chaos, Solitons and Fractals. Vol 13, 171-184. Pergamon.


Adamatzky A. &  Melhuish C. (1999) “Architecture-less Controllers for Nano-robots" in Nanotechnology Magazine Vol .5. No. 6. October. pp. 1-5.


Adamatzky A. &  Melhuish C. (2000) "Construction in Swarms: From Simple Rules to Complex Structures"  Kybernetes.


Adamatzky A. &  Melhuish C. (2000) "Parallel Controllers for Decentralized Robots: toward nano-design" in Kybernetes.


Adamatzky A. &  Melhuish C. (2000) " Unconventional mass-parallel controllers for mobile robots: reaction-diffusion and excitable prototypes" 1st International Conference on Mechatronics and Robotics (M&R) 2000. Vol 1. pp. 5-10. St. Petersburg, Russia.


Adamatzky A. &  Melhuish C. (2001) "Towards the Design of Excitable Lattice Controllers for (Nano) robots. Journal of Smart Engineering System Design. 3:265-277.


Melhuish C.,  Adamatzky A.  and Kennedy B. (2001) “Biologically Inspired Robot” SPIE’s 8th Annual International Symposium on Smart Structures and Materials. Newport Beach, California.


Adamatzky A., De Lacy Costello B., Melhuish C., Rambidi N., Ratcliffe N. and Wessnitzer J. (2002) “Excitable Chemical Controllers for Robots” International Workshop on Biologically-Inspired Robotics: The Legacy of Grey Walter.


Andrew Adamatzky, Benjamin de Lacy Costello, Chris Melhuish, Norman Ratcliffe (2003) “Liquid Brains for Robots”. AISB Quarterly 112 (2003) 5.


Andrew Adamatzky, Benjamin de Lacy Costello, Chris Melhuish, Norman Ratcliffe (2003) "Experimental Reaction-Diffusion Chemical Processors for Robot Path Planning" in "Journal of Intelligent & Robotic Systems". , Vol. 37 (2003) 3, 233 - 249.


H. Yokoi, A. Adamatzky, B. De Lacy Costello and C. Melhuish (2003) Excitable chemical medium controller for a robotic hand: closed-loop experiments"   accepted for publication in the International Journal of Bifurcation and Chaos.


Adamatzky A., De Lacy Costello B., Melhuish C., Ratcliffe N. (2004) Experimental implementation of mobile robot taxis with onboard Belousov-Zhabotinsky chemical medium, Materials Science and Engineering C: Biomimetic and Supramolecular Systems.

Sergey Skachek, Andrew Adamatzky and Chris Melhuish (2005) Manipulating objects by discrete excitable media coupled with contact-less actuator array: open-loop case. Accepted for publication in  the Journal of Chaos Solitons and Fractals


Sergey Skachek, Andrew Adamatzky and Chris Melhuish (2005) Manipulating planar shapes by light-sensitive excitable medium: computational studies of closed loop systems. Accepted for publication in the International Journal of Bifurcation and Chaos in Applied Sciences and Engineering.

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Learning and Control. Back


Melhuish C and Fogarty T.C. (1994) “Applying a restricted mating policy to determine state space niches using immediate and delayed reinforcement”, AISB Workshop on Evolutionary Computing, Leeds.


Hurst J., Bull L., and Melhuish C. (2002) TCS Learning Classifier System Controller on a Real Robot, Granada, Spain. PPSN VII and publication in the LNCS series volume (Springer Verlag).


Guo,L.Z., C. Melhuish, and Q. M. Zhu (2002) “Towards neural adaptive hovering control of helicopters” IEEE CCA/CACSD Conference on Control Applications (CCA)/Computer Aided Control System Design (CACSD), Glasgow, September, 2002.


L.Z. Guo, C. Melhuish, and Q.M. Zhu (2002) Towards neural adaptive hovering control of helicopters, IEEE CSCAD, Glasgow, UK, 2002.


F. Qiao, Q. Zhu, A. Winfield and C. Melhuish (2003) “A novel Neuro-fuzzy state estimator for nonlinear systems” Proceedings of the Postgraduate Research Conference in Electronics, Photonics, Communications and Software (PREP),  Exeter, England, pp. 224-225, April 14-16, 2003


Waldock, A., Carse, B. and Melhuish, C. (2003) "A Hierarchical Fuzzy Rule-based Learning System based on an Information Theoretic Approach"    European Society For Fuzzy Logic and Technology International Conference in Fuzzy Logic and Technology pp534-539, September 10 - 12, 2003  Zittau, Germany


F. Qiao, Q.M. Zhu, A. Winfield, and C. Melhuish (2003) Fuzzy Tracking Control for Discrete Time Nonlinear Systems (Honoured paper), Proceedings of the 9th Chinese Automation and Computer Science Conference in the UK, Luton, England, pp. (undecided), September, 2003.


F. Qiao, Q.M. Zhu, A. Winfield and C. Melhuish (2003) Design of Takagi-Sugeno Fuzzy Model Based Sliding Mode Controllers for Nonlinear Systems, Proceedings of the 2nd. Postgraduate Research Student Conference of CEMS, UWE, Bristol, UK, October 15, 2003.


F. Qiao, Q.M. Zhu, A. Winfield and C. Melhuish (2003) Fuzzy Sliding Mode Control for Discrete Time Nonlinear Systems, Computing Technology and Automation (Transactions of China Automation Society), Vol. 22, No. 2 (Sum No. 86), pp. 311-316, June 2003.


F. Qiao, Q. M. Zhu , A. Winfield and C. Melhuish (2004)  Adaptive sliding mode control for MIMO nonlinear systems based on fuzzy logic scheme. International Journal of Automation and Computing Vol.1. pp 51-62.


F. Qiao, Q.M. Zhu, A. Winfield and C. Melhuish (2004) Controller Design for Active Vehicle Suspension Systems, Proceedings of the 10th Chinese Automation and Computer Science Conference in the UK, Liverpool, England, September 18, 2004.



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