[robotics-worldwide] [jobs] Research Associate in Tactile Robot Hands (Bristol Robotics Laboratory/University of Bristol)

Nathan Lepora n.lepora at bristol.ac.uk
Tue May 23 14:01:14 PDT 2017

*** Please note - I will be at ICRA, and anyone interested in the
position can contact me to discuss it informally.

The Tactile Robotics Group at Bristol Robotics Laboratory is looking
for an outstanding candidate to grow an important research strand
within the group on tactile robotic hands. This will complement our
strengths in developing novel 3d-printed tactile sensors and
artificial intelligence methods for robot touch.

Although a relatively new group, we have a strong track record in
publishing in the major robotics/AI journals and conferences,
including RSS, NIPS, IEEE Trans Robotics and regularly in ICRA/IROS,
and also computational neuroscience journals such as PLOS
Computational Biology. We recently won a competition in Soft Robotics,
and our 3d-printed tactile sensors and a tactile hand are on display
in the Science Museum, London.

The research group has expanded rapidly over the last few years from
attracting a large number of PhD candidates and interns, and is
currently expanding in Research Associate staff due to a major
investment from the Leverhulme Trust and the University of Bristol of
over £2M.

The project has funding until April 2022, making this an ideal
position to develop a leading academic career in this important
research area.

Post details:
The successful candidate will be part of a multi-disciplinary team on
the new Leverhulme-funded Leadership Award ‘A biomimetic forebrain for
robot touch’. £1M has been awarded by the Leverhume Trust, with a
similar contribution covered by the University of Bristol. These funds
will enable a 5-year project that will apply leading robotics,
artificial intelligence, neuroscience and psychology to develop a
biomimetic forebrain embodied on a 3D-printed tactile robot hand to
enable human-like tactile dexterity.

The ambition of this project is to create a biomimetic forebrain based
on computer modelling of the mammalian neural system that implements
active touch in animals, and use this to perform general tactile
perception, exploration and manipulation tasks in robots. The
development of a biomimetic forebrain with these functional
capabilities will give new insight into human/animal embodied
intelligence, of broad relevance to science and the public interest.

Applicant qualities:
This application is for a Research Associate in Tactile Robot Hands.
The post-holder will complement and support three other postdoctoral
researchers and a technician, who will collectively develop artificial
intelligence methods for active touch embodied on state-of-the-art
tactile robot hands and link the progress to a model of the mammalian
forebrain involved in active touch in animals.

You will hold (or will be expected to obtain soon) a strong PhD in a
discipline relevant to the project. In addition to an excellent
research track record in a related area to this project, you will also
have excellent communication and presentation skills, and a drive to
make impact with your research.

The project will be based at the Bristol Robotics Laboratory
(www.brl.ac.uk) the largest center for multi-disciplinary robotics
research in the UK with state-of-the-art workshops and robotic
The post holder will be employed by the Faculty of Engineering at the
University of Bristol, ranked 3rd for general Engineering in the UK
(just after Oxford and Cambridge).
The city of Bristol is consistently ranked as the 'best place to live'
in the UK, e.g. as reported by the BBC
(https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__www.bbc.co.uk_news_uk-2Dengland-2D39320118&d=DwIFaQ&c=clK7kQUTWtAVEOVIgvi0NU5BOUHhpN0H8p7CSfnc_gI&r=0w3solp5fswiyWF2RL6rStC00sfV_qVWqlcnmGhKrRoTMim5rLso-FTzVW2NfNyo&m=PcInuD1ktaAi9FNiZgr2LjJEDegUOUi9-HLPYn-MiUA&s=Avd6MgrmAD6UahkPn0iNlGyx3srAimikWwx1Mk-gnMo&e= ).

Further details:
It is anticipated that interviews will take place in August 2017, and
the anticipated start as soon as possible thereafter. This post is
full time for 2 years initially, with funds in place to extend the
position until April 2022.
Further information about the Leverhulme Award
(https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__www.lepora.com_leverhulme.htm&d=DwIFaQ&c=clK7kQUTWtAVEOVIgvi0NU5BOUHhpN0H8p7CSfnc_gI&r=0w3solp5fswiyWF2RL6rStC00sfV_qVWqlcnmGhKrRoTMim5rLso-FTzVW2NfNyo&m=PcInuD1ktaAi9FNiZgr2LjJEDegUOUi9-HLPYn-MiUA&s=Lqx8CTBvkS8HbpBzsmfHPQj4w1Hon1NUS46RcDvMYDI&e= ) and the activities of the
research group (www.lepora.com) can be found via these links.
Informal enquiries can be made to: Dr. Nathan Lepora (N.Lepora at bristol.ac.uk)
Closing date for applications: 31 July 2017

best wishes

Dr Nathan Lepora
Senior Lecturer in Engineering Maths & BRL Theme Leader in Tactile Robotics
Dept of Engineering Maths, Merchant Venturers Building, University of Bristol
Office (MVB2.50): 0117 3315169           Lab (BRL bays 3-5): 0117 3286171
@nathanlepora   lepora.com   bristol.ac.uk/engineering/people/nathan-f-lepora
@tactilerobot       brl.ac.uk/research/researchthemes/tactilerobotics.aspx

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