[robotics-worldwide] Open post-doc position: Human-Swarm Games

Gianni Di Caro gianni at idsia.ch
Fri Jan 18 08:01:07 PST 2013

******************* POST-DOC Position @ IDSIA / EPFL ***********************

- Post-doc position in:

  Human-Swarm Games: Interaction and cooperation between human players and
                                     robot swarms in game scenarios

- Start date and duration: February 2013, 1 year

- Location: "Dalle Molle" Institute for Artificial Intelligence (IDSIA),
                Lugano, Switzerland (http://ww.idsia.ch) and
        LSRO1 Lab, EPLF, Lausanne, Switzerland (http://lsro1.epfl.ch/)


The main objective of the research is the study of strategies and
modalities to let humans and
heterogeneous multi-robot systems (hereafter referred to as swarms)
interacting and teaming
up. Physical gaming (i.e., games played by humans and robots together) will
be used as a context of
application and testing. Gaming has an important role in people’s life,
providing tools for
entertainment, social interactions, and also contributing shaping cognitive
and sensory-motor
abilities. From a scientific/engineering point of view, it is well
understood that game scenarios are
particularly suitable to study robot(s)-robot(s) and human-robot(s)
interaction in both cooperative
and adversarial settings. The use of a gaming context has the advantage of
letting the designer
define limits for time, place, and rules.

By exploiting these properties, the researcher will develop general
strategies for mutual
interaction and cooperation between humans and robots, with a particular
focus on the issues of
mutual trust, mutual learning, and two-ways, multi-modal communication for
sharing information and
providing commands and hints. The researcher will identify and implement
various schemes for
heterogeneous teaming and playing, in opposition and in cooperation, and
always with humans in the
loop. Particular attention will be focused on how a swarm can give guidance
and hints to humans to
optimize team’s utility.

Considered the importance of gaming in children’s life, the research will
mainly focus on children
as human players, addressing educational, developmental, and entertainment
issues. One of the
central, practical aims of the research is to design and implement one or
more interactive game
scenarios, based on the integration of multiple and heterogeneous robotic
resources, sensory data
(visual, speech, motion), and children players.

Candidate Profile:

The candidate must hold a Ph.D. and possibly have, at least, 1-year
experience as a post-doc. She/he
must have excellent scientific records, be highly motivated, and have a
strong background and research
expertise in the following domains:

 * Robotics
 * Multi-robot/swarm systems
 * Design and implementation of game scenarios and systems
 * Acquisition and processing of multi-modal data based on visual, speech,
and other forms of input.

Scientific experience in social robotics and/or in children psychology will
be an important
advantage, as well as a good familiarity with machine learning techniques
and distributed
algorithms. She/he is expected to have outstanding mathematical and
programming skills (in C/C++,
and preferably in Linux environments), and to have a positive attitude
toward interdisciplinary
research and teamwork.

Time frame and additional information

 * Deadline for submission of applications: January 31, 2013

 * Duration of the fellowship: 1 year, possibly starting from February 2013

 * English is the official language at IDSIA and EPFL

 * The candidate will work under the direct supervision of Dr. Gianni Di
Caro, Prof. Luca
   Gambardella, and Prof. Francesco Mondada

 * Attractive salary, aligned with Swiss standards

 * Additional information can be found in the official document of the call
(see below), and/or can asked to
   Gianni A. Di Caro (gianni at idsia.ch)

How to Apply:

Please refer to the procedure described in the official call for the
position, as published on
January 4, 2013 on the website of SUPSI:


More information about the robotics-worldwide mailing list