[robotics-worldwide] Research position

Luís Seabra Lopes lsl at det.ua.pt
Thu Nov 16 12:34:52 PST 2006


Research Position (Application deadline - December 6, 2006)

The Intelligent Robotics research group of the University of Aveiro,
Portugal, is seeking a researcher to carry out work within project
"LANGG - Language grounding for human-robot communication".

Work description
This project is aimed at contributing to the development of
user-friendly robotic servants, that is, robots that are capable of
performing useful work for humans, in normal human environments,
and that can be commanded and instructed by human users through
natural means of interaction. The specific goal of the project is to
develop symbol and theory grounding capabilities that enable robots
to interact with their human users at the language level. This is
related to a new research topic, known as computational semiotics.
To attain this goal, the project is developing an integrated set of
perception, action, interaction and learning capabilities to enable 
a real robot to gradually learn the meaning of the natural language 
words used by humans to refer to physical patterns. These patterns 
can be physical objects in the robot's environment (e.g. persons, 
furniture, etc.) or  sensory-motor patterns, corresponding to 
actions of the robot (e.g. turn left, follow wall, grasp, etc.).

Learning, in this scenario, must be seen as a lifelong incremental
process through which the robot builds and maintains a semantic
network about its task domain. The planned work will focus
on grounding the names of concrete physical objects for interaction
with a robotic arm. A component-based approach to object 
representation and learning will be investigated.

This research position is for an initial period of six months, but can be
renewed up to one year.

PhD studies
There is the possibility that this work continues as a PhD project after
the first six or twelve months. Such decision depends on an evaluation of
the competencies and habilitations of the selected researcher.

Candidates should have a master degree or a Portuguese
"licenciatura" degree in computer science, electronics engineering
or related fields. Preferably, candidates should have previous
experience on advanced knowledge representation, and/or signal
processing and/or machine learning techniques.

For continuing as a PhD student, the researcher should have a
licenciatura degree with a final grade of at least 16/20 or a master

Anyone interested should send, until *** 6 December 2006 ***,
his/her curriculum vitae plus a motivation letter to Prof. Luis
Seabra Lopes (lsl at det.ua.pt).

Other information
The University of Aveiro (http://www.ua.pt), founded in 1973,
is currently considered one of the best universities in Portugal,
enrolling around 14000 students. The university's main
site is a modern campus located in the coastal city of Aveiro,
in north/center Portugal. The Intelligent Robotics research group
was created in 1999 and currently conducts projects on
human-robot interaction, robot learning and multi-robot teams.

Luis Seabra Lopes (lsl at det.ua.pt)

Departamento de Electrónica, Telecomunicações e Informática
Universidade de Aveiro - 3810-193 Aveiro - Portugal
Phone: +351-234-370374 / Fax: +351-234-381128

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