Dr Savan Chhaniyara

Research Fellow

Qualifications: BEng, MSc, PhD, MIET


Further information


Savan Chhaniyara received his B.Eng. degree in Mechanical Engineering with distinction from Nirma Institute of Technology, India in 2002. During his B.Eng., he participated in a range of mechanism design and robotic projects at national and international level. After having one year experience as a Design Engineer at Kevin Engineering Pvt. Ltd., Savan received a M.Sc. in Mechatronics degree with distinction from King’s College London in 2004. He then joined India’s largest engineering and construction conglomerate, Larsen & Toubro Limited (L&T) as a Product designer in DNA (Defense Nuclear Aerospace) cluster till 2006. He awarded PhD degree in Mechanical Engineering by King’s College London in 2010. His research was supported by “Overseas Research Students Awards Scheme, UK” (ORSAS)as well as Mechanical Engineering Departmental funding by King’s College London. His research focused on the development of a visual odometry based navigation and self localization sensing system to enhance the autonomous capabilities of unmanned ground vehicles. He collaborated experiments with MIRA LTD., UK and Localization tests at CNES Toulouse for ExoMars rover prototype developed by EADS Astrium during his PhD research.

He joined the Surrey Space Centre as a research fellow in August 2010. He is working on System Modelling and Requirements Verification of Robotic Spacecraft for the On-Orbit Servicing scenario in collaboration with EADS Astrium Space Transportation, Bremen.

He is also a team member in the development of an advance Air bearing test facility for a EPSRC "Autonomous Assembly of Reconfigurable Space Telescope (AAReST) for Astronomy and Earth Observation"

For further information about Savan and his C.V. please visit http://www.linkedin.com/in/Savan

Research Interests

  • On-orbit servicing and planetary robotics
  • Space system engineering - SysML/UML, Requirement engineering - DOORS
  • Vehicle Slip Estimation and Compensation
  • Robotic navigation & sensing
  • Kinematic and Dynamic Modeling of Mechatronics systems - Matlab Simulink, IBM Rhapsody - SysML, Labview
  • Product designing and development
  • Mathematical modelling and simulations of mechanical systems
  • Image processing
  • CAD modelling

Further details can be found on my personal web page.

Research Collaborations

Research Bids: I have been instrumented in writing successful research proposals and bids to various funding body including ESA ITT, EU FP7, UK KTP, EPSRC and UKIERI to name the few. 

Recently successful research bid:

FP7 - FASTER: The FASTER project targets this critical issue of fast and safe traverse though these unknown planetary surfaces. The FASTER consortium is led by DFKI, with Surrey Space Centre at the University of Surrey providing the technical lead for this project. 

Established links with the EADS Astrium, The Shadow Robot Company Limited, German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI), German Aerospace Centre (DLR), Universitaet Bremen, Space Applications Services NV, Przemyslowy Instytut Automatyki i Pomiarow, Universidad Miguel Hernandez de Elche, Fondazione Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, LIQUIFER Systems Group


Book chapters

  • S. Chhaniyara, K. Althoefer and L. Seneviratne, “Visual odometry technique using circular marker identification for motion parameter estimation” Advances in mobile robotics , p1069-1076, World scientific, 2008
  • S. Al-Milli, S. Chhaniyara, E. Georgiou, K. Althoefer & J.Dai, “ Experimental Study On Track-Terrain Interaction Dynamics In An Integrated Environment: Test Rig”, Advances in mobile robotics , pp 1106-1113, World scientific, 2008
  • S. Chhaniyara, K.Althoefer and L. Seneviratne, “Motion Estimation And Self-Localization Based On Computer Vision And Artificial Marker Deposition”, Advances In Climbing And Walking Robots, p690-p698, World scientific ,2007

Journal and Conference Publications

  • S. Chhaniyara, C. Brunskill, B. Yeomans, M.C. Matthews, C. Saaj, S. Ransom, L. Richter, Terrain trafficability analysis and soil mechanical property identification for planetary rovers: A survey, Journal of Terramechanics, , ISSN 0022-4898, 10.1016/j.jterra.2012.01.001.
  • Chhaniyara S., Saaj C., Maediger B., Althoff-Kotzias M., Ahrns I., SysML based system engineering: A case study for Space Robotic Systems , 62nd International Astronautical Congress 3-7 October 2011. Cape Town.
  • Chhaniyara S., Saaj C., Althoff-Kotzias M., Ahrns I., Maediger B. , Model based system engineering for space robotics systems, ESA ASTRA 2011 - 11th Symposium on Advanced Space Technologies in Robotics and Automation, 12-14 April, ESA/ESTEC, Noordwijk, the Netherlands
  • Chhaniyara S., Kolodziejczyk J., Suess, G. and Althoefer K.,” Hybrid Visual Odometry System Based on Motion Blur Analysis”, EPSRC Workshop on Human Adaptive Mechatronics (HAM), October 13-14, 2010, Loughborough, UK
  • P. Báez, S. Chhaniyara, A. Ataollahi, P. Polygerinos and K. Althoefer, ”Design of a Fiber Optic Based Tactile Array Sensor”, EPSRC Workshop on Human Adaptive Mechatronics (HAM), October 13-14, 2010, Loughborough, UK L.
  • Seneviratne, Y. Zweiri, S. Hutangkabodee, Z. Song, X. Song, S. Chhaniyara, S. Al-Milli, K. Althoefer, “The modelling and estimation of driving forces for unmanned ground vehicles in outdoor terrain”, International Journal of Modelling, Identification and Control 2009 - Vol. 6, No.1  pp. 40 - 50,
  • L. Seneviratne, K. Althoefer, Yahya Zweiri, S. Hutangkabodee, Z. Song, X. Song, S. Chhaniyara and S. Al-Milli, " The Modelling and Estimation of Driving Forces for Unmanned Ground Vehicles in Outdoor Terrain", in Proc. of International Conference on Modeling, Identification and Control (ICMIC'08), June 2008, Shanghai, China
  • S. Chhaniyara, P. Bunnun, L. D. Seneviratne and K. Althoefer, “Optical Flow Algorithm for Velocity Estimation of Ground Vehicles: A Feasibility Study”, International Journal On Smart Sensing And Intelligent Systems, p246-p268, Vol. 1, No. 1, March 2008
  • L. Seneviratne, K. Althoefer, Y. Zweiri, S. Hutangkabodee, Z. Song, X.Song and S. Chhaniyara, " Vehicle-Terrain Interaction Modeling and Identification in Rough Terrain," in Proc. of the 2nd International Conference on Industrial and Information Systems (ICIIS 2007), August 9-11, 2007, Peradeniya, Sri Lanka.
  • S. Chhaniyara, K. Althoefer, Y. Zweiri, L. Seneviratne, “A novel approach for Self-Localization based on Computer Vision and Artificial Marker Deposition”, ICNSC -IEEE International Conference on Networking, Sensing and Control, p139-p144, 15-17 April 2007, London
  • S. Chhaniyara, P. Bunnun, Y. H Zweiri, L. D Seneviratne and K. Althoefer, “Feasibility of Velocity Estimation for All Terrain Ground Vehicles using an Optical Flow Algorithm”, ICARA 2006-Third international conference on autonomous robots and agents, 12-14 December 2006, New Zealand.


  • S. Chhaniyara, Y.Zweiri, K. Althoefer and L. Seneviratne, “International Application No: PCT/GB2006/000527- Vehicle location”, World Intellectual Properly organisation, WO/2006/087542


UG and PG Project Supervision -Space Robotics


  • Presented a invited guest lecture at the German Aerospace Centre (DLR) - System Engineering Methodology
  • Best Poster Award -The 3rd International Conference on Autonomous Robots and Agents,12-14 December 2006 - Palmerston North, New Zealand
  • Represented India at international robotic competition “ABU Robocon 2002, Tokyo” by wining national level robotic championship “Doordarshan Robocon 2002” at Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur.
  • Succeeded in achieving 2nd prize in model making competition Endeavour for “Unnatti Yantra- All-Terrain Vehicle” at Institute of Technology, Kanpur during Techkriti 2000


  • IEEE Transactions on Robotics
  • IEEE ICRA (International Conference on Robotics and Automation )2007-2009
  • IEEE IROS(nternational Conference on Intelligent RObots and Systems) 2007-2009

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