Student Projects

If you are interested in one of the below projects, Semester Projects, Master Projects at EPFL, or Master Projects in Industry please contact the first person of reference indicated in each description either by telephone, or by email, or by visiting us directly to the LASA offices.

Semester Projects

Master Projects at EPFL

Swarm Furniture Obstacle Avoidance for Smart-Living Environment Assisting Wheelchair Navigation


This project is a step towards the development of a modular control architecture for collaborative robots in smart-living environments. The goal is to develop a simulation environment of this fully smart home (mobile furniture) and implement a control framework for the modular robotic system to facilitate user’s navigation and obstacle avoidance through the smart home. The project will start by analyzing and drafting a swarm robot formation that could work in decentralised control based on LASA’s developed obstacle avoidance through modulated dynamical systems [1]. The resulting controller should plan motions either to move away or towards a person while respecting the environment’s constraints and avoiding collisions.

The test-bed simulation with modular robotic furniture will operate autonomously for increasing the efficient navigation of a pedestrian user or a smart wheelchair robot user (simulated semi-autonomous driving Qolo [2]). The resulting simulator and controller will serve as a baseline for enabling further development of the human-robot interaction framework to control specific behaviours of the modular robot furniture, such as a user commanding furniture to get closer or move further away.

This project is associated with the CIS Intelligent Assistive Robotics Collaboration Research Pillar. It is co-supervised by LASA and BioRob laboratories.


  1. Develop a test-bed environment (in Unity or Rviz) containing robotic furniture that incorporates physical/computational constraints and velocity control.

  2. Implement an obstacle avoidance DS-based algorithm on each robot object acting independently [1].

  3. Analyze the behaviour of the modular swarm acting independently and evaluate the performance of the swarm to provide a set of baseline results.

  4. Formulate a swarm controller for enhancing group response towards enhancing/facilitating user motion in the smart environment.

Expected Experiences for the Student

• Experience developing experimental test-bed for robot swarm simulation.

• Learning state-of-the-art motion control through time-invariant dynamical systems for mobile robots. 

• Experience virtual robot motion planning for a robotic swarm.

• Experience virtual robot dynamic control.


  1. [1]  L. Huber, A. Billard, and J.-J. Slotine, “Avoidance of Convex and Concave Obstacles With Convergence Ensured Through Contraction,” IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters, vol. 4, no. 2, pp. 1462–1469, 2019. DOI: 10.1109/LRA.2019.2893676

  2. [2]  D. F. Paez-Granados, H. Kadone, and K. Suzuki, “Unpowered Lower-Body Exoskeleton with Torso Lifting Mechanism for Supporting Sit-to-Stand Transitions,” in IEEE International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, (Madrid), pp. 2755–2761, IEEE Xplorer, 2018. DOI:10.1109/IROS.2018.8594199

ProjectMaster Thesis (LASA/BioRob)
PeriodSept.21st, 2021 – Jan. 31st, 2021
Section(s)ME MT SV EL IN MA
Type50% theory, 50% software
Knowledge(s)Programming skills (Python / C++ / Unity)
Control Systems; ROS (a plus); Rviz (a plus)
Subjects(s)Robot control; Control Theory; Simulation; Obstacle Avoidance
Responsible(s)Dr. Diego Paez, Lukas Huber, Dr. Anastasia Bolotnikova (BioRob)
URLCIS project, GitHub code