Andrew Vardy

Associate Professor in Computer Science / Electrical and Computer Engineering


Andrew Vardy is the supreme leader of the BOTS lab—a lab dedicated to building leaderless robot swarms!  His research interests include swarm robotics, bio-inspired robotics, and visual robot navigation.  He enjoys irony, music, and writing about himself in the third person.

Youtube Channel – Home Page


Core Students


Daniel Cook
Masters candidate in Computer Engineering

Daniel is from Newfoundland and holds a B.Sc in Computer Science from Memorial University. His thesis work involves developing a suitable algorithm for a swarm of simple agents to perform modification to a terrain (leveling, ramp building, etc). A related project involves developing a high-fidelity/performance particle simulator for modeling the behaviour of granular material effected by a robot manipulator.

He enjoys the company of cats, and wonders what a bio written in second-person narrative might be like.

Web – LinkedIn – GitHub


John Hawley
Masters candidate in Computer Engineering

IMG_1596John Hawley is from St. John’s, Newfoundland where he attended Memorial University to earn his B. Eng in Computer Engineering in 2010. Following completion of his undergraduate degree John spent time working in industry in Ottawa, Canada and Bergen, Norway before returning to Memorial to begin his Masters studies in the autumn of 2015.

While the topic of John’s thesis has not yet been finalized he is interested in the effects broadcast communication by agents about their immediate environment can have on the ability of a swarm of simple agents to perform certain tasks.

John is a member of the Memorial Centre for Entrepreneurship’s Student Ambassador Team which involves organizing and hosting events to help grow interest in entrepreneurial activities among students. In his free time John enjoys travelling and watching sports.

Dalia Said

Masters candidate in Computer Science

 Dalia is from Cairo, Egypt. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and Engineering from the German University in Cairo. Having written her Bachelor’s thesis on Dynamic Behaviour Trees at the University of Augsburg in Germany, she became interested in Artificial Intelligence, Robot Behaviour and Human-Robot Interaction. She worked as a junior Java Developer for 8 months in Cairo, when she decided to do her master’s degree at Memorial University in Newfoundland, having not researched the weather there at all. Her thesis work focuses on Swarm Intelligence and Human-Swarm Interaction, in the hopes of becoming Humanity’s ambassador when the robot uprising begins.

She enjoys most enjoyable things, along with contemplating the meaning of life, the universe, and everything.

Nicholi Shiell
Masters candidate in Computer Science

IMG_20150619_094407I am from Ontario and finished my B.Sc Physics, and M.Sc Experimental High Energy Physics at Carleton University in Ottawa. After a short hiatus from academia I have returned to Memorial University to purse another M.Sc degree this time in computer science with a focus on autonomous robotics.

My thesis work is in the realm of pattern formation with applications to the collective coverage problem. In particular I am developing methods to allow a hypothetical swarm of autonomous undersea robots to assume a linear formation which can then carry out a “lawnmower” like pattern to survey the seabed.

I am also working on a small side project which uses techniques borrowed from evolutionary computing (EC) to improve particle filter localization. This new localization technique, dubbed the evolutionary particle filter (EPF), uses “niching” methods (from EC) to improve localization in highly symmetric environments similar to those found in offices and other buildings.


Affiliated Graduate Students

(The following students are co-supervised by Andrew in areas not directly related to BOTS)

  • Trung Nguyen, Ph.D candidate in Mechanical Engineering
  • Scott Watson, Ph.D candidate in Computer Science
  • Swapna Puthukkudi Chalil, Ph.D candidate in Electrical Engineering
  • Zhi Li, Ph.D candidate in Ocean and Naval Architectural Engineering

Other Affiliated Students

  • Emily Wiseman, Women in Science and Engineering Student (Summer 2015)

    Scott Quinton, B.Eng student in Computer Engineering

Affiliated Faculty Members

Todd Wareham
Associate Professor in Computer Science


I did my BA in Linguistics and BSc and MSc in Computer Science at MUN in the
1980’s and early 1990’s. After finishing my PhD in Computer Science at
the University of Victoria in 1999, I was very lucky to return to
MUN (the place I most wanted to work) as a prof. In my research,
I apply computational complexity analysis to explore algorithmic
options for solving problems arising in various areas including
cognitive science, swarm robotics, and computer games. I enjoy movies,
reading, short walks, and the stimulating company of fun academics like
the members of BOTS.

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