[robotics-worldwide] Postdoctoral Fellow in Human Robot Interaction at UBC

Elizabeth Croft ecroft at mech.ubc.ca
Mon Mar 7 10:07:58 PST 2011

*Postdoctoral Fellow in Human Robot Interaction at UBC*
contact maclean at cs.ubc.ca to discuss while at HRI’11

* *

CARIS Lab – Department of Mechanical Engineering

Multimodal Experience – MUXLab – Department of Computer Science

*University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada*

Professors Elizabeth Croft (Mech) and Karon MacLean (CS)

CARIS Lab and MUXLab are seeking applications for TWO ONE-YEAR (each
renewable for a second year) postdoctoral fellowships at the University of
British Columbia in Mechanical Engineering and Computer Science in
Vancouver, CANADA, *commencing May 1, 2011,* or as soon as possible

* *

*Background: *This project exploits an emerging paradigm-shift for
manufacturing systems, which relies on taking robots “out of the cage” and
developing intelligent robotic assistants that can collaborate both directly
and physically with human co-workers in their tasks as part of the
production team. Our advances will be driven by a primary understanding of
the support needs of workers in advanced manufacturing plants, and
implemented using new technologies and methods generated by both the
research team and our industrial partner, a major user and innovator of
large-scale manufacturing, assembly and automation.  Our results will be
deployed, tested and evaluated on a unified platform for industry-identified
representative challenge tasks.

*Project Descriptions: *The two individuals will work on two coordinated
efforts: in topic 1 to assess, design and then integrate our new HRI
techniques into the manufacturing process, and in topic 2 to innovate and
evaluate the novel low-level techniques themselves.

*Topic 1: Robot-Assistant-in-Manufacturing Task Design.  *The successful
candidate will be responsible for user studies and evaluations validating
the human-robot interaction in command/control, physical proximity of the
robotic assistant, and situational awareness needs and adequacy. Working
closely and often in-situ with the industry partner, this includes (a)
Interaction specifications from a systems view of the robotic assistant -
when is it useful, what is the context, and how does it affect the way
people work?  (b) Evaluation methodology choice and execution throughout the
requirements, development and validation design cycle; and (c) research
questions such as “appropriate-modality” communication: how do we use
multiple modalities to effectively code a “message” in a given situation?

* *

*Topic 2: Communication Loop Design. *The successful candidate will be
responsible for the design, implementation and demonstration of the
communication loop between a robot and human, utilizing observed human cues
and robot feedback signals.  They will also supervise student working on
sub-projects related to cue recognition and transmission, robot
teach-by-showing, and robot control architecture for implicit communication

Both individuals will take a leadership role, and assist in the supervision
of graduate and undergraduate students working on the project. The two
individuals will collaborate closely with one another, as well as with
certain offsite members of the larger team.

* *

*Application Criteria: *Successful candidates will have completed Ph.D.
research in Computer Science (HCI, HRI), Mechanical/ Mechatronics
Engineering, Electrical Engineering, or a comparable discipline(s). Both
need at least a general background in HCI, experience in user study design
and execution, evidence of independent work, strong team skills, and
excellent communication abilities. In addition, he or she will have one and
ideally more of the following skills or background experience, demonstrated
by a corresponding publication record. The criteria will vary somewhat for
the two roles (controls experience is weighted more heavily for topic 2, and
deeper experience in HCI including qualitative methods more important for
topic 1):

             - Hands-on experience working with mechatronic/robotic systems

             - Robotics and controls

             - Familiarity with industrial manufacturing environments

             - Task and workflow analysis methods

             - Human attentional processing

             - Iterative design and prototyping

*To Apply: *Please send the following information to
mux-postdoc-recruiting at cs.ubc.ca:

             - A brief letter of application, clarifying the projects
area(s) of interest and fit to the area(s)

             - A curriculum vitae which includes full contact information

             - List of publications with links to pdf-versions of the three
most relevant publications

             - Three reference letters (sent separately)

*Please use subject line “HRI postdoc: <applicant name>” for all components.
*Complete applications that are received by *April 1, 2011* will be given

These positions are subject to funding and will be governed by UBC’s “Policy
No. 61: Post Doctoral Fellows”
http://www.universitycounsel.ubc.ca/files/2010/08/policy61.pdf.  The
University of British Columbia hires on the basis of merit and is committed
to employment equity. All qualified persons are encouraged to apply.
* *

* *

*For more information, please see:*

*- *UBC's MUXLab: http://www.cs.ubc.ca/labs/imager/hci.php.

- UBC’s CARIS Lab: http://caris.mech.ubc.ca/
- UBC’s Department of Computer Science: http://www.cs.ubc.ca/.
- Vancouver, recognized as one of the most livable cities in the world:

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