[robotics-worldwide] [jobs] PhD Scholarship at Bristol Robotics Laboratory in Object Identification and Authentication using Microscopic Forensic Signatures

Tony Pipe Tony.Pipe at brl.ac.uk
Mon Mar 19 02:20:17 PDT 2018

HP Inc. UK LTD funded PhD Scholarship Bursary at the Bristol Robotics 
Laboratory (BRL) in 3D Object Identification and Inspection using Micro 
and Macro Object Features

An opportunity exists to apply for a funded full-time PhD studentship in 
the Bristol Robotics Laboratory over a 3.5 year duration, including 
support for conference attendance and project consumables.

The expected start date of this studentship is 1 June 2018.

The closing date for applications is 28 March 2018

About the Studentship

The technology provider HP Inc. (HP) and the world renowned Bristol 
Robotics Laboratory (BRL) are working together on an exciting new 
research project to develop novel sensors and algorithms aimed at 
realising low-cost technology for the capture of unique surface 
characteristics from differing substrate types (e.g. paper, ceramic, 
plastic etc.), mainly for the purpose of object recognition and inspection.

Using a combination of both 3D structural and 2D spectral signals, the 
aim is to generate rich description of objects by recovering and 
describing properties that naturally occur at the surface, or which can 
be introduced, in order to realise a unique object recognition 
signature. The characterisation of surface properties will be 
investigated at both macro and microscale levels. Estimating 3D surface 
texture and reflectance at microscale is a challenging problem with a 
number of unsolved issues, and, requires the capture of highly dense 

This project will focus on:

(1)    Using a range of optical/computer vision techniques to capture 
and recover surface characteristics of 3D surfaces objects at macro and 

(2)    Investigating the simultaneous recovery of multispectral signals 
and 3D structure at the microscopic scale.

(3)    Developing novel algorithms to derive translation and rotation 
invariant signatures of different categories of objects and surfaces.

(4)    Developing novel machine learning approaches (use of deep 
learning concepts) to characterise objects and identify their inherent 
surface properties.

3D depth recovery approaches such as structured light, photometric 
stereo and binocular stereo reconstruction will be considered, along 
with alternative methods based on phase shift interferometry and/or 
focus variation. Likewise, approaches looking at the narrow band 
spectral shifting data, captured using a hyperspectral imaging device 
(or a custom based multispectral image capture system) will also be 
investigated. In addition, this project will also investigate approaches 
looking at using localised properties (surface reflectance, surface 
texture and 3D properties) of a surface at microscale in order to build 
a more generalised meta-surface structure characterisation, say using a 
Simultaneous Localisation and Mapping (SLAM) approach.

The aim will be to establish signatures which can be captured using 
low-cost technology, are unique at the item level, can be readily 
compared and which have strong statistical significance.

Experienced BRL research academics from the Centre for Machine Vision 
(CMV), will work together with HP’s senior design engineers to provide 
guidance throughout the research programme. The CMV has developed 
internationally leading research and expertise in innovative 3D surface 
recovery solutions applied to different areas, including security, 
medical, agri-tech, digital advertising and others. Augmented by HP’s 
specialised skills at developing low-cost devices, this research will 
explore a range of state-of-art optical/computer vision techniques 
developed at the CMV to generate innovative solutions for the 
recognition and inspection of objects.

The PhD will be based at the CMV in BRL, with periods also spent working 
with the HP team in Bristol, and will benefit from links with the 
existing CDT programme within the BRL.

For an informal discussion about the studentship, please email Professor 
Melvyn Smith or Dr Khemraj Emrith
Funding details

The studentship is available from 1 June 2018 for a period of 3.5 years, 
subject to satisfactory progress and includes a tax exempt stipend at 
the standard EPSRC rate, which is currently £14,553 per annum. In 
addition, full-time tuition fees will be covered for up to 3.5 years 
(Home/EU rates only).
Eligibility criteria

Applicants must have a good honours degree (2.1 or equivalent) in 
subjects such as electronic engineering, computer science, computer 
vision, physics, sensor science.

A recognised English language qualification is required.
How to apply

Download and complete the Graduate School studentship application form 
and send it directly to the UWE Bristol Graduate School. Please ensure 
you include the title of the research project you propose to undertake, 
and detail why you are interested in undertaking this PhD project and 
what relevant knowledge, experience and qualifications you would bring 
to the research. Please see the Graduate School studentship application 
guidance notes for further information about how to complete the 
application form.

Please also complete the Equal Opportunities monitoring form and 
complete the first section of the Graduate School application reference 
sheet before sending to your nominated referees.
Further information

Interviews will take place early in the week beginning 16 April 2018 If 
you have not heard from us by 20 April 2018, we thank you for your 
application, but on this occasion you have not been successful.

For the full advert please refer to the following link:


Tony Pipe
Professor of Robotics and Autonomous Systems
Deputy Director: Bristol Robotics Laboratory

Bristol Robotics Laboratory
Frenchay Campus
Bristol UK BS16 1QY
Tel: +44 (0)117 3286330

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