[robotics-worldwide] [jobs] IDIAP/EPFL (CH) - PhD positions in Visual and Multimodal Sensing for Human-Robot Interaction (HRI)

odobez jean-marc.odobez at epfl.ch
Tue Nov 17 08:27:57 PST 2015

The Idiap Research Institute (www.idiap.ch), a laboratory associated 
with  EPFL  (Swiss Federal  Institute  of  Technology, Lausanne, 
www.epfl.ch) seeks qualified candidates in computer vision and machine 
learning for multi-modal interaction modeling.

The research will be conducted in the context of MuMMER (MultiModal Mall 
Entertainment Robot), a newly 4-year EU Horizon 2020 funded project 
involving several leading European institutions in the field. The 
project will develop a humanoid robot (based on Aldebaran's Pepper 
platform) able to engage and interact autonomously and naturally with 
individuals or groups or people. To support this behaviour, the project 
consortium will develop and integrate new methods from audiovisual scene 
processing, social-signal processing, high-level action selection, and 
human-aware robot navigation. See 

PhD  positions and requirements:

The research conducted at Idiap will focus on the sensing part (persons 
detection, tracking, identification, non-verbal behavior -gaze, 
attention, head gestures- extraction, speaker turn detection), but with 
an HRI flavor, like better accounting for robot gestures, active sensing 
to reduce perception uncertainties, generating behaviors to convey 
perception uncertainties, exploiting soft priors coming from 
communication and dialog models, etc. Within a team of two to three PhD 
students/postdocs, the PhD students are expected to advance the 
state-of-the-art in this field, through the design of principled 
algorithms from machine learning, computer vision, multimodal processing 
and HRI, to address the above tasks.

PhD position 1: The first position has a multimodal orientation (audio 
and video/depth; ego motion). The main goal will be to track the 
location of people and their speaking activity using appropriate 
audio-visual representations, audio-source localization and 
characterization, active and adaptive audio-visual association and 
behavior models (including conversation models), esp. to handle when 
people are not in the field of view (but might be heard).

PhD position 2: The second position will be more oriented towards 
vision/depth processing, and the modeling of face representation for the 
design of head detectors/trackers and non-verbal behavior extraction 
methods appropriate at different depth ranges.

These work will rely on previous experience ans software developed in 
the context of previous projects.

The ideal Ph.D student should have a master in computer science, 
engineering, or applied mathematics. S/he should have a good background 
in mathematics, statistics, and programming (C/C++, Python, scripting 
langages). Prior experience or background in statistical learning 
theory, computer vision or robotics will be a plus.

The successful PhD candidate will become a doctoral student at EPFL 
(http://www.epfl.ch) provided that s/he is accepted by the Doctoral 
School at EPFL (http://phd.epfl.ch/applicants). Appointment for the PhD 
position is for a maximum of 4 years. Annual gross salary ranges from 
47,000 CHF (first year) to 50,000 CHF (last year). The starting date is 
1st of March 2016, or to be negotiated.

For more information, please contact Dr Jean-Marc Odobez 
(odobez at idiap.ch, www.idiap.ch/~odobez), and Petr Motlicek 
(petr.motlicek at idiap.ch) for Position 1. Interested candidates should 
submit a cover letter, a detailed CV, and the names of three references 
(or recommendation letters) through the Idiap online recruitment system  
(by clicking on the position’s title at www.idiap.ch/education-and-jobs) 
and email to Dr. Odobez/Motlicek. Application deadline: Dec. 10th; the 
positions will remain open until suitable candidates have been found. 
Indicate in your application your preference and motivation for the 
available position.

About IDIAP:
Idiap is an independent, non-profit research institute recognized and 
supported by the Swiss Government, and affiliated with the Ecole 
Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL). It is located in the town of 
Martigny in Valais, a scenic region in the south of Switzerland, 
surrounded by the highest mountains of Europe, and offering exciting 
recreational activities, including hiking, climbing and skiing, as well 
as varied cultural activities. It is within close proximity to Geneva 
and Lausanne. Although Idiap is located in the French part of 
Switzerland, English is the working language. Free French lessons are 

Idiap offers competitive salaries and conditions at all levels in a 
young, dynamic, and multicultural environment. Idiap is an equal 
opportunity employer and is actively involved in the "Advancement of 
Women in Science" European initiative.

Jean-Marc Odobez,
IDIAP & EPFL Senior Researcher  (EPFL MER)
IDIAP Research Institute (http://www.idiap.ch)
Tel: +41 (0)27 721 77 26
Web: http://www.idiap.ch/~odobez

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