[robotics-worldwide] PhD Studentships available at University of Coimbra, Portugal

Lino Marques lino at isr.uc.pt
Wed Nov 14 03:29:22 PST 2007


PhD Studentships available

Two PhD studentships are available at Institute for Systems and Robotics 
(http://www.isr.uc.pt) University of Coimbra (http://www.uc.pt)

The positions are available within the framework of the European project 
GUARDIANS (http://guardians-project.eu/)

Project summary:

The GUARDIANS are a swarm of autonomous robots applied to navigate and 
search an urban ground. The project's central example is an industrial 
warehouse in smoke, as proposed by the Fire and Rescue Service. The job 
is time consuming and dangerous; toxics may be released and humans 
senses can be severely impaired. They get disoriented and may get lost. 
The robots warn for toxic chemicals, provide and maintain mobile 
communication links, infer localisation information and assist in 
searching. They enhance operational safety and speed and thus indirectly 
save lives.
The robots navigate autonomously and accompany a human squad-leader. 
They connect to a wireless ad-hoc network and forward data to the 
squad-leader and the control station. The network is self-organising, 
adapts to connection failures by modifying its connections from local up 
to central connections. The autonomous swarm operates in communicative 
and non-communicative mode. In communicative mode automatic service 
discovery is applied: the robots find peers to help them.
The wireless network also enables the robots to support a human 
squad-leader operating within close range. The aim is for flexible and 
seamless switching between these modes in order to compensate for loss 
of network signals and to support and safeguard the squad-leader. 
Several robot platforms are used, off-the-shelf mini-robots as well as 
middle sized robots. The emphasis in data collection is on toxic plume 
detection, to enable olfactory-based navigation, allow safe progress for 
the human squad-leader and to detect plume sources.

Research areas:

- Smart sensors
- Environment perception and modeling
- Cooperative SLAM
- Mobile robot olfaction

Starting date:
- January 2007

Applicants must have completed a Master's thesis by September 30, 2007, 
preferably in the field of Electrical Engineering, or Computer Science, 
or Robotics, or Intelligent Systems. Strong mathematical skills, expert 
knowledge of C/C++ programming, and good level of written/spoken English 
are required. Applicants must also have expert knowledge in at least one 
of the following areas: estimation theory, state-space methods, 
classical and modern control system design, embedded systems design, 
smart sensors.
We are looking for individuals who show strong motivation to pursue 
advanced studies and are capable of adapting to team work.

Successful applicants will receive a one-year research assistantship, 
renewable yearly based on successful research achievements. The value of 
the fellowship will be 980 € monthly free of taxes.

Interested students should submit a detailed biographical vitae, 
including relevant courses completed (specifying texts used, if 
applicable) and a description of prior research including a copy of 
international publications, if any (max 3). In addition, they should 
provide the names of two academic references (name, title, affiliation, 
e-mail and telephone number(s)) who are willing to provide detailed 
recommendation letters about the candidate. Finally, they should include 
a one-page summary of their future research objectives.

The above material, or any inquire regarding the research work, should 
be e-mailed no later than Nov 30, 2007 to Lino Marques (lino at isr.uc.pt).

After a preliminary screening, the academic references will be contacted 
to independently provide confidential recommendation letters. The ISR/UC 
reserves the right to select no one or only one Ph.D. candidate.

-- 
******************************************************************
Lino Marques
Institute of Systems and Robotics
Dep. of Electrical and Computer Engineering
University of Coimbra
3030-290 Coimbra                            E-Mail: lino at isr.uc.pt
PORTUGAL        Fax: +(351) 239 406 672  Phone: +(351) 239 796 277
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