Student’s projects at Mobots/Learnge

Students looking for a project

Semester or diploma projects for current EPFL students. We are an interdisciplinary robotics lab, meaning our projects are often for students from Section-MT, EL or ME but also frequently suitable for students in other domains.

As the section management on iS-Academia is incomplete at this time please check in the project’s description if it is available for your section before applying.

  Related sections SV, PH, MA, SC and IC
  Type Master project or Semester project
  Style Software experimental
  First assistant Robert Mills
  Second assistant Cyril Monette

The winter period can be considered the most critical time of the year for a bee colony, where approximately 50% of colonies don’t survive. In the research project HIVEOPOLIS, we are developing a smart hive including detailed sensing that aims to better understand honeybees and support them. In recent winter seasons, a robotic device was used to collect data and interact with specific collective behaviours of groups of thousands of bees.

We aim to better understand how this robotic system can interact with an animal society, and predict how animals will behave under specific environmental conditions. Thus, we propose a project focused on the development of agent-based models that will take into account specific behaviors of winter bees (e.g., movement over thermal gradients, heat production, clustering/aggregation, etc.) and some physical properties of the hive (e.g., heat propagation through honeycombs). Examples of target predictions include temperature profiles, collective metabolism, collective location and consumption of the food supplies. The model should also cater for the sensing and control of the robotic system, thereby bringing together the physical and control elements of the artificial system with the natural system.

In order to extract behavioral parameters and compare simulation results and model accuracy, the student will have access to data collected from real hives from different instrument types (e.g., cameras and temperature sensors).


  • 1) This project description is designed as a PdM (30 ECTS); please contact us to discuss potential adaptation for PdS (10 ETCS). 
  • 2) The sections above are not exhaustive but the project will develop computational models so build naturally on mathematical and/or computational competences.


Proposed Work Packages
  1 Study phase
    Winter bee individual and collective behaviors
    Computational models to simulate large numbers of agents
    Numerical methods on heat propagation within homogeneous materials
  2 Implement an agent-based model of winter honeybees that takes into account the ambient temperature and the influence of thermal actuators (Python scientific stack strongly preferred)
  3 Analyze and compare simulation results with data collected from real hives
  4 Report writing

For Mobots or Learn staff

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