[robotics-worldwide] [jobs] PHD Opening in "Learning visual cues of interactions for humanoid robots" at University of Genoa and Italian Institute of Technology

Alessandra Sciutti alessandra.sciutti at gmail.com
Fri Jul 11 08:31:33 PDT 2014





Applications to the PhD in Bioengineering and Robotics - Università degli
Studi di Genova are open!


The Phd program in Biogengineering and Robotics is rooted in the multiple
ongoing collaborations between Università degli Studi di Genova/University
of Genoa ( <http://www.unige.it/> www.unige.it), Fondazione Istituto
Italiano di Tecnologia/Italian Institute of Technology Foundation (
<http://www.iit.it/> www.iit.it) and the University of Cagliari (
<http://www.unica.it/> www.unica.it) 


Deadline for application (strict): 22/08/2014 - 12:00 (noon). 

More information on the PhD program, its curricula, research themes, and
application modalities can be found at http://phd.dibris.unige.it/biorob/
and http://www.iit.it/en/openings/phd-calls/2015.html.


Within the program, I would like to draw your attention on the following
research theme, highly interdisciplinary, with elements of computer science,
cognitive science and robotics, and very ambitious in its scope: 


Learning visual cues of interactions for humanoid robots

Theme n. 10 - curriculum on “Cognitive Sciences, Interactive and
Rehabilitation Technologies”.  

Tutors: Prof. Francesca Odone  (DIBRIS Università dei Genova) Prof. Giulio
Sandini (RBCS Dept., IIT), Dr. Alessandra Sciutti (RBCS Dept., IIT)


Description: Since the earliest stage of their development, humans learn how
to interact with other people. More specifically, babies begin to decode
their own movements by acquiring visual evidence of the result of their
motor commands. Then, as soon as they learn to perform a given action they
also start to anticipate its outcome even when they see it executed by
others. Hence, the knowledge accumulated by acting is exploited to
understand and predict someone else’s intention. 


The general goal of this project will be to provide iCub with a similar
ability that will guarantee a more natural and proficient interaction with
human users. The pipeline of the computational system includes an
attentional module able to localize the portion of the scene containing
biological motion. Then, iCub exploits this information to focus on the
selected area and to describe it more precisely using its stereo system. 

 The visual properties of the observed movements will be used by the robot
to decode the intentionality of the interacting partner by using machine
learning techniques. View-invariance will be one of the crucial aspects of
the system, together with the capability of inferring information about the
3D orientation of an agent. 



*	Sciutti A., Noceti N., Rea F., Odone F., Verri A. & Sandini G.
2014,'The informative content of optical flow features of biological
motion', 37th European Conference on Visual Perception (ECVP 2014),
Belgrade, Serbia, August, 24-28, 2014

See also:


·         Sciutti A., Patanè L., Nori F. & Sandini G., 2014, ‘Understanding
object weight from human and humanoid lifting actions’, IEEE Transactions on
Autonomous Mental Development, vol. 6, no. 2, pp. 80-92, doi:
<http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/TAMD.2014.2312399> 10.1109/TAMD.2014.2312399

Requirements: degree in robotics, bioengineering, computer science, computer
engineering, or related disciplines, attitude for problem solving, basic
skills on c++ programming. A background on computer vision and machine
learning is an asset. 

Highly motivated students are welcome to apply! 


Contacts Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact the perspective
tutors before they submit their application: 

francesca.odone at unige.it, giulio.sandini at iit.it, alessandra.sciutti at iit.it




Alessandra Sciutti (PhD)

Robotics Brain and Cognitive Sciences Dept. - Italian Institute of

Via Morego 30, 16163 Genova, Italy

email: alessandra.sciutti at iit.it 




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