About Us

The BET Lab is an interdisciplinary collection of individuals interested in behaviours and behavioural mechanisms, both in animals and in artificial systems. We apply a range of theoretical approaches, from mathematics and statistics, decision theory, computer science, and physics. Historically called the ‘Behavioural and Evolutionary Theory’ Lab, nowadays we often consider neuroscience mechanisms or analogues, and increasingly test our theories in, or develop new algorithms for, robots.

The Lab is part of the Department of Computer Science, University of Sheffield, and is physically based in Sheffield Robotics.


Opteran Technologies Closes £2.1m Seed Round

James and Alex’s spinout Opteran Technologies today announced its £2.1m seed funding round, led by IQ Capital, with participation from Episode 1, Seraphim, and Join. The investment will enable them to further develop and commercialise their core ‘Natural Intelligence’ technology stack for autonomous systems, which is based on core IP developed during the Brains on Board research project. The funding announcement …

Opteran Technologies Pre-Seed Funding Secured

James and Alex, together with David Rajan, have secured £230k of pre-seed investment from the Northern Triangle Initiative, part of the Connecting Capabilities Fund of the British Business Bank, to move Opteran Technologies towards the market. Opteran Technologies is commercialising research undertaken during the Green Brain and Brains on Board projects, and is developing novel …

Swarm Awareness Grant Funded

James and Giovanni have been awarded the basic research grant Swarm Awareness from the ONRG. The Swarm Awareness project aims to endow a swarm with awareness of its own state, thus allowing individual agents to reach a consensus on the global swarm state. Particular examples of states to measure are swarm size (number of agents), fraction of the swarm committed to …


Current Members

James Marshall – Principal Investigator

Alex Cope – Research Fellow

HaDi MaBouDi – Research Associate

Fadl Isa – PhD Student

Neville Dearden – Beekeeper

Joanne Seal – Senior Research Support Officer

Former Members

Ross Booton (with Dylan Childs)

Andrew Barron

Thomas Bose

Francesco Canciani

Tom Cassey (Bristol)

Jennifer Dick

Angélique Favreau-Peigné

Anna Font Llenas

Mark Kelly

Yara Khaluf

Patrick Hogan

Seb James

Lianne Meah

Eleftherios Nikolaidis

Georgios Parthymos

Alvin Pastore (with Eleni Vasilaki)

Angelo Pirrone (with Tom Stafford)

Bob Planqué (Bristol)

Chris Quickfall

Juan Camilo Ramírez

Andreagiovanni Reina

Chelsea Sabo

Arindam Saha – Research Associate

Thomas Schlegel (Bristol)

Aldo Segura

Qingshan Shan

Salah Talamali

Carla Teale

Pete Trimmer (Bristol)

Pascal van Beek

Anna van Doorn

Hector Zenil

Join Us

The BET Lab is not currently looking for new members.