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 received widespread coverage including in mainstream media:
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 solutions to autonomy that do not rely on Machine Learning.
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 a unique decision (quorum), and super-threshold decision (decision-state). For open positions on this project visit its website:
James is lead investigator on a new £4.8m EPSRC Programme Grant entitled ‘Brains on Board: Neuromorphic Control of Flying Robots’. Starting on December 30th 2016 for 5 years and including 5 investigators across 3 universities, this project will fuse cutting edge neuroscience, behavioural biology, computational modelling and computer hardware to design lightweight efficient on-board controllers for autonomous flying robots, inspired by the honeybee brain. The project partners are:
• James Marshall (PI) – Computer Science, Sheffield
• Mikko Juusola – Biomedical Sciences, Sheffield
• Lars Chittka – Biological & Experimental Psychology, QMUL
• Thomas Nowotny – Informatics, Sussex
• Andy Philippides – Informatics, Sussex
James’ monograph ‘Social Evolution and Inclusive Fitness Theory: An Introduction’ is now available, published by Princeton. The book aims to provide an introductory treatment of the logic of inclusive fitness theory, including its recent high profile criticisms. The presentation is aimed at quantitative experimental biologists and theoreticians.
• Marshall, J. A. R. (2015) Social Evolution and Inclusive Fitness Theory: An Introduction. Princeton University Press.