Artificial Intelligence & Robotics

My Research Interests

I have been involved in a variety of projects on Artificial Intelligence and Robotics in just about any environment:



I have been involved in a number of space-based projects involving robotics:

  • The European Space Agency’s ExoMars project intends to send a Robotic Scientist to Mars. I was mainly involved in Software Architecture of the robot and how we could make the rover perform tasks intelligently and safely. This also included task planning and autonomous resource validation. What make the project really challenging is the extreme conditions on Mars, critical safety, delays in communication back to Earth and above all, the political need to make it work considering the high budget and the long man-years spent placing the robot on Mars.
  • I have also been involved in the design of satellite tasking software and mission management.
Aerobot on Mars
Don Quijote Astroid Orbiter Payload Impactor


Respond Humanitarian Project
Satellite scanning




Oceans are fascinating and our knowledge of them is limited. Underwater Robotic projects are essential to enhance our understanding of the world and its inhabitants. It still amazes me that every time a group of divers perform a deep dive, they discover new species. Here are a few projects I have worked on:

  • Flock Distortion. I researched and developed a novel method to calculate the position of underwater vehicles based on their inter-distances. See my PhD thesis for details.
  • Multiple Unmanned Underwater Vehicles. I explored the state of the art in regard with potential use of a group of underwater vehicles intending to perform a mission. Examples of the missions were survey, search and destroy and mine clearance.
Underwater Swarm, Robotics
Robust Communications


Submarine hunting
Underwater Formation Flying, Survey, Collective Robotics




  • In collaboration with the University of Wales in Aberystwyth, I worked on Aerobots to perform formation flying in air. Aerobots are easily disturbed by air current flows, temperature variations and inaccurate positioning systems used indoors. This makes formation flying even more challenging, but at the same time more exciting when you get it right.
Aerobots formation flying
Communication between nodes


F16 flying over and dropping sensors
Research lab




On land, I have been involved in the following project:

  • Participated in the design of a LIDAR-based Intelligent Robotic Porter System which intended to demonstrate navigation, route planning and task planning of a robot in a complex and dynamic environment such as an airport. The aim was to demonstrate the system by using a series of airport buggies to shift people around the airport as needed. 
Plymouth GIS data including chart, 3D heightmaps and arial photography
Plymouth GIS data including chart, 3D heightmaps and arial photography with ocean




  • Honary, E., McQuade, F., Ward, R., Woodrow, I., Shaw, A., Barnes, D. and Fyfe, M.(2008) "Robotic experiments with cooperative Aerobots and underwater swarms", Robotica
  • McFarland, D. and Honary, E. (2003) Flock Distortion: A new approach in mapping environmental variables in deep water. Robotica, special issue, July 2003, Vol 21, Part 4.
  • McFarland, D., Gilhespy, I. and Honary E. (2003) DIVEBOT: A diving robot with a whale-like buoyancy mechanism. Robotica, special issue, July 2003, Vol 21, Part 4 s).
  • Honary E. (2004) Flock Distortion: A Collective Approach to 3D Trajectory Mapping, PhD Thesis, University of West of England, UK.



  • Woods, M. J., Shaw, A., Honary E., Barnes D. P.,  Long D., Pullan D., (2008) “CREST Autonomous Robotic Scientist: Developing a Closed-Loop Science Capability for European Mars Missions”, (71), iSAIRAS, 9th International Symposium on Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and Automation in Space.

  • Shaw A., Woods, M., Honary, E., Rendell, P., Pullan D., Barnes D., Pugh S. and Long D., (2007) CREST Robotic Scientist, TAROS 2007 (Towards Autonomous Robotic Systems), 3rd - 5th September 2007, Abeystwyth, UK.
  • Woods, M., Ward, R., Honary, E., Barnes, D., Pullen, D., Long, D., Draper, C., (2007) The Autonomous Robotic Scientist, DASIA 2007 (Data Systems In Aerospace), Naples, Italy, 29th May – 1st June 2007.
  • Honary, E., McQuade F., Ward, R., Woodrow I., Shaw, A., Barnes, D. and Fyfe M. (2006) Demonstrating Real-World Cooperative Systems Using Aerobots, ASTRA 2006 (Advanced Space Technologies for Robotics and Automation), European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC), Noordwijk, Netherlands, 28th – 30th November 2006.
  • Honary, E., McQuade F., Ward, R., Woodrow I., Shaw, A., Barnes, D. and Fyfe M. (2006) Multiple Autonomous Aerobots performing formation flying and cooperative behaviour, DASIA 2006 (Data Systems In Aerospace), Berlin, Germany, 23rd-25th May 2006.
  • Honary, E., McFarland, D., Melhuish, C. (2003) Flock Distortion: a role for collective robotics in ocean mapping, 6th Underwater Science Symposium, University of Aberdeen, 4-6th April 2003.
  • Honary, E., McFarland, D., Melhuish, C. (2003) Mapping the oceans using flock distortion, 13th International Symposium On Unmanned Untethered Submersible technology, New Hampshire, USA, 24th-27th August 2003.