[robotics-worldwide] Open position for Research Assistant (IST, Lisbon, Portugal)

Rodrigo Ventura rodrigo.ventura at isr.ist.utl.pt
Mon Dec 5 06:51:22 PST 2011


(reference: BL 470/2011)


Instituto Superior Técnico (Lisbon, Portugal) seeks applicants for 1 Research Grant (BI) for MSc within the project Human-robot interaction with field robots using augmented reality and interactive mapping, PTDC/EIA-CCO/113257/2009, in collaboration with Madeira Interactive Technologies Institute (Madeira, Portugal), and financed by national funds through FCT/MCTES (PIDDAC).


The project focuses on field robotics: the use of sturdy robots in unstructured environments. One important example of such a scenario is in Search And Rescue (SAR) operations to seek out victims of catastrophic events in urban environments. While advances in this domain have the potential to save human lives, many challenging problems still hinder the deployment of SAR robots in real situations. This project tackles one such crucial issue: effective real time mapping. To address this problem, it adopts a multidisciplinary approach by drawing on both Robotics and Human Computer Interaction (HCI) techniques and methodologies. 

The project will revolve around the development of simple and effective techniques for control of RAPOSA, a tracked robotic SAR platform, as it explores unmapped, unstructured environments. RAPOSA features stereo cameras and primary displays for the robot will be based on integrating these feeds into a Head Mounted Display (HMD). Maps will be generated on the fly via development of Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM) algorithms and this content will be integrated into the HMD displays using 2D and 3D overlays and augmented reality techniques. To ensure a seamless experience, tracking technologies will be used to monitor and respond to head movements; different mappings for this process will be explored. Interaction with content displayed on the HMD using multi-modal techniques such as gestures and voice, and for tasks such as annotation and disambiguation, will also be explored. Requirements capture and system evaluation will be conducted in collaboration with fire fighting organizations in Lisbon, Portugal.

(project webpage: http://aurero.isr.ist.utl.pt )

a. Job description: This position is based in Lisbon. It involves developing and implement an interactive vision-based SLAM-6D algorithm, first in simulation, and then on the RAPOSA platform. This algorithm will fuse sensory data not only from a stereo camera pair, but also from inertial data and odometry. A depth camera will also be used for an accurate 3D reconstruction of the environment. Other tasks will include software integration of interaction elements (e.g. visualizations or control schemes) with the RAPOSA platform, and participation in system evaluations. Requirements include a Master degree, a strong background on robotics, and preferably experience with probabilistic methods in robotics.

b. Main research field: Electrical and Computing Engineering / Robotics

c. Admission requirements: a Masters degree in electrical and computing engineering, computer science, or a closely related field.

d. Workplan: Research and development of a interactive 6D-SLAM algorithm, fusing sensory information from several sources (vision, inertial, odometry, and depth camera). Integration of the software architecture in the RAPOSA platform. Participation in the field experiments at a civil protection team training site.

e. Legislation and regulations: Law Nº. 40/2004, from the 18th of August (Research Grant Holder Statute); FCT Regulations for Advanced Training and Qualification of Human Resources 2011.

f. Workplace: The work will be conducted at the Institute for Systems and Robotics (ISR/IST) under the scientific supervision of Prof. Rodrigo Ventura with the support of Prof. Ian Oakley (M-ITI).

g. Grant duration: The grant will have a duration of 12 months, extended up to 27 months, with estimated start in January 2012.

h. Monthly stipend: 980 EUR, according to the table of values of the grants awarded by FCT, I.P. (http://alfa.fct.mctes.pt/apoios/bolsas/valores). Voluntary Social Security (SSV) and accidents insurance are also provided.

i. Evaluation and selection: The selection of the applicants will be done taking into account: evaluation of curriculum (50%), and interview (50%).

j. Selection jury: Prof. Pedro M.U.A. Lima, Prof. Alexandre Bernardino, Prof. Rodrigo Ventura

k. Publication and notification of results: The results will be made public through a final list ordered by candidate classification, available for consultation at the Instituto Superior Tecnico. The outcome of the selection process will be notified to the applicants via email.

l. Application deadline: 16th of December 2011.

m. Application: Applications should be sent via email to Rodrigo Ventura (rodrigo.ventura at isr.ist.utl.pt) and should include: Curriculum Vitae, degree certificate, recommendation letters (optional).


Rodrigo Ventura
Institute for Systems and Robotics
Instituto Superior Técnico
Lisbon, Portugal

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