[robotics-worldwide] 2 PhD Studentships in Cognitive vision/robotics

Anthony Cohn A.G.Cohn at leeds.ac.uk
Tue Apr 16 06:45:42 PDT 2013


2 PhD Studentships in Cognitive vision/robotics School of Computing University of Leeds UK

Two PhD studentships are available funded by a new EU grant, STRANDS:
Spatial-Temporal Representations and Activities For Cognitive Control in Long-Term Scenarios. Leeds is a partner in this multi site project, and is particularly concerned with developing appropriate qualitative spatio-temporal representations and with learning activity models in a long term temporal setting. The other partners in the consortium are the Universities of Birmingham (coordinating node), Lincoln, Vienna, RWTH Aachen, and  KTH Stockholm.

STRANDS aims to enable a robot to achieve robust and intelligent behaviour in human environments through adaptation to, and the exploitation of, long-term experience. Our approach is based on understanding 3D space and how it changes over time, from milliseconds to months. We will develop novel approaches to extract quantitative and qualitative spatio-temporal structure from sensor data gathered during months of autonomous operation. Extracted structure will include reoccurring geometric primitives, objects, people, and models of activity. We will also develop control mechanisms which exploit these structures to yield adaptive behaviour in highly demanding, real-world security and care scenarios.

The spatio-temporal dynamics presented by such scenarios (e.g. humans moving, furniture changing position, objects (re-)appearing) are largely treated as anomalous readings by state-of-the-art robots. Errors introduced by these readings accumulate over the lifetime of such systems, preventing many of them from running for more than a few hours. By autonomously modelling spatio-temporal dynamics, our robots will be able run for significantly longer than current systems. Our systems will take these opportunities, advancing long-term mapping, life-long learning about objects, person tracking, human activity recognition and self-motivated behaviour generation. We will integrate our advances into complete cognitive systems to be deployed and evaluated at two end-user sites. The tasks these systems will perform are impossible without long-term adaptation to spatio-temporal dynamics, yet they are tasks demanded by early adopters of cognitive robots. 

The two studentships on the four year STRANDS Integrated Project funded by an
EU Framework 7	grant are available immediately. 

Successful applicants will be paid a stipend which will be sufficient for them to pay their own fees at the appropriate rate, leaving sufficient left over for maintenance at the UK EPSRC rate.

Each of the two studentships is funded for 3 years and covers fees (at the international rate if necessary) and maintenance at the standard EPSRC rate (currently £XYZ per annum).

Candidates should have or expect to obtain a first class or good 2.1 honours degree in mathematics, computer science or artificial intelligence. Preference will be given to candidates who can offer a Masters level qualification, a track record in publications, or relevant experience.

Informal enquiries: Prof Tony Cohn,a.g.cohn at leeds.ac.uk, 0113 343 5482

Applications should be made online, using the link at http://www.engineering.leeds.ac.uk/computing/postgraduate/research-degrees/index.shtml
 ("how to apply" tab)



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