[robotics-worldwide] [jobs] Funded PhD in tactile-driven robotics at CITEC - Bielefeld University

Robert Haschke rhaschke at techfak.uni-bielefeld.de
Wed Aug 23 00:19:42 PDT 2017

The NeuroInformatics Group (Prof. Ritter) at the Faculty of Technology, 
Bielefeld University, is looking for a PhD candidate in the area of 
tactile-based control for grasping and manipulation. The ideal candidate 
should hold a MS degree in Computer Science or Engineering, with a 
particular focus on sensor-driven robotics. S/he should have a 
background in machine learning (particularly deep learning), robotics, 
and control. Strong programming skills in C++ and/or python as well as 
experience with ROS are essential and candidates should be strongly 
motivated to quickly get acquainted with large existing code bases. A 
history of open-source contributions is desired (if you have one, please 
mention e.g. your github account). Proficiency in written and spoken 
English is required. Knowledge of German is useful but not required.

The position is available immediately with an initial contract until 
March 2019 and the option for prolongation to a full 3-years PhD period. 
Reduced working hours are possible. The position is meant for scientific 
qualification. According to the legal requirements of the WissZeitVG and 
the contract on good employment practice, individual contract terms can 
arise with an annual gross salary of ca. 50.000 EUR.

Interested candidates should submit a cover letter, a detailed CV, and 
the names of two references (or recommendation letters) via email to 
rhaschke at techfak.uni-bielefeld.de.

Interviews will start on September 18th, 2017. Late applications will be 
treated depending on availability of the position.


*About the project “TACT-HAND”*, Improving control of prosthetic hands 
using tactile sensors and realistic machine learning

In this cooperation with DLR and EPFL we aim for an augmentation of a 
prosthetic hand (Touch Bionics) with tactile sensing and appropriate 
force-based control algorithms to facilitate more advanced usage of this 
5DoF hand. The main task of the candidate will be the realization of 
control algorithms for tactile-based grasping, applying deep learning 
approaches for incipient slip detection and tactile sensor development.


*About Neuroinformatics Group / CITEC*

Applicants will work in the context of the Neuroinformatics Group at 
CITEC, headed by Prof. Ritter, further developing a bimanual robot setup 
equipped with anthropomorphic, tactile-sensorized Shadow Robot Hands. 
The project will also benefit from its embedding in the research 
environment of the Cluster of Excellence “Cognitive Interaction 
Technology” (CITEC).

Creating the scientific and technology foundations for systems that 
interact with human users seamlessly and at a semantic level is the 
focus of the Cluster of Excellence in Cognitive Interaction Technology 
(CITEC) at Bielefeld University. CITEC's research topics range from 
smart devices, over virtual or augmented reality to sophisticated robots 
with cognitive or even social capabilities.

CITEC was established as part of the German Excellence Initiative in 
2007 and brings together over30 research groups in computer science, 
robotics, biology, linguistics, psychology, and sports science, 
co-located in a dedicated buildingthat offers cutting-edge lab facilities.

The Neuroinformatics Group, headed by Prof. Ritter, is particularly 
focusing on tactile- and vision-based grasping and manipulation in 
unknown environments employing anthropomorphic Shadow Robot Hands. 
Methods include machine learning, particularly deep neural networks, but 
also classical engineering approaches.

*What CITEC Offers You*

We offer a strongly interdisciplinary and stimulating research 
environment with excellent laboratory infrastructure as well as a wide 
network of national and international research partners. The positions 
are remunerated at the salary level TV-L 13 and are provided with a 
dedicated budget for research costs. We are strongly committed to 
support the career development of our members and can offer facilities 
to reconcile professional demands and family life.

*Application Process*

Applications are to be submitted in English and must include the 
following (no more than two pages for each item 1. - 4.):


    A statement describing the applicant’s area(s) of research (topics
    and methods)


    A motivation letter,


    A curriculum vitae


    Record of publications, with copies of 3 representative papers


    References to software projects the candidate developed / contributed to


    Up to two letters of recommendation

Applications should be sent by email (rhaschke at techfak.uni-bielefeld.de) 
<mailto:helge at cit-ec.uni-bielefeld.de%29>to Dr. Robert Haschke, in one 
PDF document. Should you have any questions, please also contact us at 
this email address.

Applications from qualified severely handicapped persons and persons who 
are on a par with severely handicapped persons are explicitly welcome.

Bielefeld University is recognized as a family-friendly university. We 
encourage women to apply for jobs; this is particularly true with regard 
to both academic and technical posts as well as positions in information 
technology, trades and crafts. Applications are handled according to the 
provisions of the state equal opportunity statutes.

*About Bielefeld *

Bielefeld is one of the 20 largest cities in Germany (with close to 
330.000 inhabitants). Founded in 1214 CE as merchant city, Bielefeld is 
today a dynamic university city with a total of seven universities and 
nearly 35.000 students. It is a lively city with favourable living costs 
with a lot of cultural and entertainment opportunities. Bielefeld is at 
the heart of the East Westphalia-Lippe region, which is home to a number 
of worldwide acting companies, including Miele, Bertelsmann, Dr. Oetker 
and Schüco. Fast ICE trains make Berlin, Hamburg and Cologne reachable 
within two and a half hours. Located in the heart of the Teutoburg 
Forest, the place is one of Germanies greenest cities, offering many 
opportunities for outdoors and leisure activities.

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