[robotics-worldwide] [jobs] PhD Opening on Mutual Understanding in Human-Robot Interaction at the Italian Institute of Technology

Alessandra Sciutti alessandra.sciutti at gmail.com
Thu May 7 03:16:30 PDT 2015

Apologies for cross-posting

PhD Opening on Mutual Understanding in Human Robot Interaction Robotics,
Brain and Cognitive Sciences Department (RBCS) - Italian Institute of
Technology Cognitive Robotics, Interaction and Rehabilitation technologies

In the spirit of the doctoral School on Bioengineering and Robotics, the PhD
Program for the curriculum “Cognitive Robotics, Interaction and
Rehabilitation Technologies” provides interdisciplinary training at the
interface between technology and biomedicine. The general objective of the
program is to form scientists and research technologists capable of dealing
with multidisciplinary projects involving aspects of engineering, technology
and life-sciences. 

In RBCS we are merging top-level neuroscience research and top-level
robotics research by sharing fundamental scientific objectives arising from
the study of speech recognition and language, the foundations of physical
and social interaction, the exploitation of sensory and motor

Among the different research themes proposed I would like to advertise the
"Mutual Understanding in Human Robot Interaction" 

The ideal candidates are students with a higher level university degree
willing to invest extra time and effort in blending into a multidisciplinary
team composed of neuroscientists, engineers, psychologists, physicists
working together to investigate brain functions and realize intelligent
machines, rehabilitation protocols and advanced prosthesis.

International applications are encouraged and will receive logistic support
with visa issues, relocation, etc.

Below you can find more details related to the position and the instructions
on how to apply.

Best regards,
Alessandra Sciutti

Alessandra Sciutti (PhD)
Robotics Brain and Cognitive Sciences Dept. - Italian Institute of
Technology Via Morego 30, 16163 Genova, Italy
email: alessandra.sciutti at iit.it 

Theme 8: Mutual Understanding in Human Robot Interaction
Tutor: Dr. Alessandra Sciutti
Department: RBCS (Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia) http://www.iit.it/rbcs

Description: As robots are making their way from factory floors into our
everyday lives, the design of their interaction with humans is becoming more
and more important and a key issue to address is how to transfer the
excellent social skills exhibited by humans to human-robot interaction. Our
approach to this challenge is based on leveraging on the neural and
behavioral mechanisms naturally in place for human-human interaction to
foster a seamless mutual understanding with humanoid robots. Hence, we use
robots both as tools to stimulate human social interaction and as test beds
for the derived models. In particular we focus on understanding in humans
and implementing in a robotic platform the basic motor and perceptual skills
supporting human collaboration, as gaze tracking [1], temporal coordination
between partners [2], gesture and action understanding [3-5]. The activity
we propose is twofold: on one side to further investigate how to establish
efficient human robot collaboration by implementing models of social skills
on the iCub robotic platform and on the other to assess these models in
human-robot interactive scenarios by means of multiple techniques (e.g.,
eye-tracking, motion capture and force measurements). 

Requirements: Background in computer sciences, robotics, engineering is
required, as also willingness to make experiments with human participants
and strong motivation to work and adapt to a multidisciplinary environment. 

International opportunity: The successful candidate will have the
opportunity to spend part of his/her PhD at Osaka University and the
University of Tokyo in the framework of the Marie Curie IRSES collaborative
project CODEFROR ( www.codefror.eu ).

1.   O. Palinko, A. Sciutti, F. Rea, G. Sandini, Towards Better Eye Tracking
in Human Robot Interaction Using an Affordable Active Vision System, HAI
2.   A. Bisio, A. Sciutti, F. Nori, G. Metta, L. Fadiga, G. Sandini, T.
Pozzo, Motor Contagion during Human-Human and Human-Robot Interaction, PloS
one, vol. 9, no. 8, 2014
3.   N. Noceti, A. Sciutti, F. Rea, F. Odone, G. Sandini, Estimating human
actions affinities across views, VISAPP 2015
4.   A. Sciutti, L. Patanè, F. Nori, G. Sandini G., Understanding object
weight from human and humanoid lifting actions, IEEE Transactions on
Autonomous Mental Development, vol. 6, no. 2, pp. 80-92, 2014 
5.   A. Sciutti,  A. Bisio, F. Nori, G. Metta, L. Fadiga, G. Sandini, Robots
can be perceived as goal-oriented agents, Interaction Studies, 14:3 . xv,
179, pp. 329–350, 2013

Contact: alessandra.sciutti at iit.it 

 How to apply

Please note that the positions are available through the PhD course of
Bioengineering and Robotics, curriculum on Cognitive Robotics, Interaction
and Rehabilitation Technologies, offered jointly by IIT and the University
of Genoa. The official call and application forms are available on the
website of the University of Genoa. In particular:

The official calls are available here:
ive%20Robotics%202015%20def.pdf   (Cognitive Robotics, Interaction and
Rehabilitation Technologies curriculum. )

Applications must be submitted online, instructions for applicants are
available here:

Applicants are strongly encouraged to get in touch with Alessandra Sciutti (
alessandra.sciutti at iit.it ).

****** Application deadline: 10 June 2015, Noon,  Italian time *******

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