[robotics-worldwide] PhD studentship in Social Robotics for Robot Home Companions (University of Hertfordshire)

Dautenhahn, Kerstin k.dautenhahn at herts.ac.uk
Tue Nov 1 13:27:32 PDT 2011


Social Robotics for Robot Home Companions

Adaptive Systems Research Group
Science and Technology Research Institute
University of Hertfordshire

Human-Robot Interaction is a quickly growing research area with a number of applications in assistive technology and service robotics. The research team at University of Hertfordshire led by Prof. Dautenhahn is involved in two European projects relevant to the field of robot home companions, namely LIREC (http://lirec.eu/) and ACCOMPANY. A key research issue relevant to both projects concerns the adaptation of the robot's behaviour e.g. to the individual needs and preferences of the person. A personalized robot companion needs to know its users, and be able to adapt in long-term interaction.

The PhD project will focus of the topic of social awareness and adaptation, i.e. will develop the robot's ability to interact with its users, and to learn socially by observing and analyzing the interaction. Such research is strongly inspired by biology and psychology concerning the way how humans and other animals learn from each other by observation, interaction and communication. The group has a strong track record in the area of human-robot interaction, imitation and social learning. The PhD student will develop new social learning and adaptation algorithms, as well as participate in the preparation, implementation and analysis of human-robot interaction studies.

The PhD student will be part of a larger research team consisting of researchers working in the above mentioned European projects, as well as other research group members. The PhD student will have the opportunity to work with state of the art home companion robots, including the Care-O-bot® 3 robot.

Applicants are required to have a strong first degree or Master's degree in Computer Science, Robotics or a related area relevant to the project. The applicant must have demonstrated the ability to plan, implement and document a research project (e.g. MSc or final year project) in an area relevant to this studentship. The applicant must have demonstrated significant knowledge and skills in the area of machine learning/Artificial Intelligence. An additional background in human-computer interaction, cognitive science or psychology is desirable. Excellent programming skills are essential and the ability to interface robot sensors and develop software on robots is a necessary requirement of this studentship, as well as a general interest in interdisciplinary research and willingness to collaborate with researchers from other disciplines. The ideal candidate will be self-motivated with good writing and communication skills. The PhD will be supervised by Prof. Kerstin Dautenhahn (K.Dautenhahn at herts.ac.uk), whom interested candidates are invited to contact via email in the first instance.

Successful candidates are eligible for a research studentship award from the University (approximately £13,600 per annum bursary plus the payment of the standard UK student fees).

Research in Computer Science at the University of Hertfordshire has been recognized as excellent by the latest Research Assessment Exercise, with 55% of the research submitted being rated as world leading or internationally excellent. The Science and Technology Research Institute provides a very stimulating environment, offering a large number of specialized and interdisciplinary seminars as well as general training opportunities. The University of Hertfordshire is situated in Hatfield, just north of London.

Application forms (http://homepages.stca.herts.ac.uk/~comqvs/ApplicationFormUHStudentship.doc) should be returned to Mrs Lorraine Nicholls, Research Student Administrator, STRI, University of Hertfordshire, College Lane, Hatfield, Herts, AL10 9AB, Tel: 01707 286083, l.nicholls @ herts.ac.uk. The short-listing process will begin on 14 November2011, interviews will be held early in December 2011.

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Prof. Dr. Kerstin Dautenhahn
Professor of Artificial Intelligence
Adaptive Systems Research Group
The University of Hertfordshire, School of Computer Science
College Lane, Hatfield, Hertfordshire AL10 9AB, United Kingdom
URL: http://homepages.feis.herts.ac.uk/~comqkd
E-mail: K.Dautenhahn at herts.ac.uk
Fax: +44-1707-284-303  Tel: +44-1707-284-333


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