[robotics-worldwide] Research assistant positions - Human-robot interaction

Luis Seabra Lopes lsl at ua.pt
Wed Jul 25 06:33:37 PDT 2007

Research Positions (Application deadline - August 10, 

The Intelligent Robotics research group of the University
of Aveiro, Portugal, is seeking 2 research assistants to
carry out work within the project "LANGG - Language
grounding for human-robot communication".

Work description
This project aims to contribute to the development of
robots that are capable of performing useful work for
humans, in unstructured 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 language acquisition
capabilities that enable robots to interact with their
human users at the language level. This is related
to such research topics as computational semiotics and
biosemiotics. 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. furniture, persons,
tools, toys, 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 symbolic and subsymbolic
semantic structures that ground language in perception
and action. The planned work will focus on grounding
the names of concrete physical objects for
interaction with a robotic arm.

These research positions are 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 degree.

Anyone interested should send, until *** 10 August 2007 
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 
Universidade de Aveiro - 3810-193 Aveiro - Portugal
Phone: +351-234-370374 / Fax: +351-234-381128

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