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Professor in Embedded Cognitive AI for Robotics
Ref: 1536387

Job Overview

The Robotics and Autonomous Systems (RAS) research-and-innovation pipeline is now experiencing unprecedented growth, evidenced by substantial new research opportunities appearing across the UK and EU funding landscape. You will champion an exciting new research theme in BRL; embedded cognitive AI for robots engaged in close-proximity Human-Robot Interaction. You will build up an expert team by utilising the existing world-renowned resources at BRL, and by creating new ones.

We have identified two critical application domains in which to pursue this work:

  1. Health-Care Technologies (HCT) focused on robotics for Ambient Assisted Living (AAL), including elderly/infirm care, rehabilitation, pre and post cancer surgery support;
  2. Advanced Flexible Manufacturing (AFM) including Human-Robot Interaction (HRI) and elements of ‘Industrie 4.0’.

BRL already has an excellent internationally recognised track record in these areas, including strong connection into the related UK, EU and international research and advanced industrial communities, but critical work remains to be done. You will bring your expert knowledge to bear on our existing work in bi-directional multi-modal interactions between a human and a robot to develop a robot ‘theory of mind’ in order for the machine to build notions of human wants and expectations, as well as modelling its own Beliefs, Desires and Intentions. Along with the ability to vary levels of autonomy to suit a given interaction context, these are vital issues in making robots genuinely helpful, supportive and natural to interact with and, ultimately, acceptable to users. To achieve the urgently required advances in these areas, you will ideally have an established track record in Artificial Intelligence (AI) for complex on-line cognition, requiring sophisticated interaction with humans during task execution. However, we welcome applications from gifted researchers from strongly linked disciplines who are fully committed to developing the area of research outlined above.

Please note, this role is equivalent to a Full Professor role at an US University.

Salary Band
Negotiable
Working Pattern
Full Time,
37 hours per week
Closing Date
31 May 2016 @ 23:59
Anticipated Interview Date
To Be Confirmed
 Type of Post/Duration
Permanent
 Location
Bristol Robotics Laboratory
Further Details
For an informal discussion, please contact
Professor Chris Melhuish, Tel: +44 (0)117 328 6334 or
Professor Tony Pipe, Tel: +44 (0)117 328 6330.
How to Apply

Research Associate in Computer Vision
Ref: 1551848

Job Overview

The Bristol Robotics Laboratory is seeking to appoint a Research Associate (RA) in Computer Vision to work on a full-time basis for 2 years. The RA will be based in the Centre for Machine Vision (CMV) which is part of the Bristol Robotics Laboratory, a joint venture between the University of Bristol and UWE. You will work both individually and as part of a small team on a number of related projects which may run concurrently. Initially, for the first 18 months, you will focus mainly on an Innovate UK funded project in automated weed detection. The CMV has a broad interest in the application of computer vision in agricultural applications and the researcher may be expected to contribute towards projects in other related areas, for example in animal body condition monitoring and in crop monitoring, as well as other areas such as human or animal face recognition, often working closely with our existing collaborators as well as networking with new partners.

Your input on other projects will vary depending on the progress on the existing projects and the priorities associated with these projects. You will also be working closely with our external partners as well as with CMV colleagues to help develop new funded projects. Funding is available for making visits to the collaborating research groups and there will also be the opportunity to attend international conferences.

You will have a Masters level degree, or a PhD, in a relevant area and have experience of computer vision and C++ programing.

Salary Band
£28,143 - £31,656
Working Pattern
Full Time,
37 hours per week
Closing Date
31 May 2016 @ 23:59
Anticipated Interview Date
To Be Confirmed
 Type of Post/Duration
2 Years
 Location
Bristol Robotics Laboratory
Further Details
For an informal discussion, please contact
Professor Melvyn Smith, Tel: +44 (0)117 328 6358.
How to Apply
To apply for this post, Job Ref: 1551848, follow this link.

Industrial PhD: "Multimodal Tele-Presence for remote operation of industrial robot systems"
A collaboration between BRL, UK and PPM AS, Norway

Job Overview

This is an exciting opportunity to undertake fundamental research in an industrially grounded real-world setting in order to make industrial robots easier to re-programme. The candidate must, therefore, be interested in pursuing PhD level research at the challenging interface between industrial problems and academic solutions.

A crucial part of the Western European income-base has, and continues to be, created in the context of Small and Medium sized Enterprise (SME) manufacturing. These SMEs are currently in a very challenging situation. On one hand, they are small, flexible and have low overhead costs compared to bigger enterprises. On the other hand, they tend to depend on manual work force, which links their financial competitiveness strongly with wage level, which is significantly higher in Western Europe compared to Eastern Europe and Asia. However, SMEs normally have limited investment funds and competence in robotics and automation, which traditionally has slowed down the rate of uptake in industrial robots.

This situation is beginning to change. Due to the increasing requirements attached to productivity and EHS (Environment, Health and Safety), SMEs are now exposed to ever increasing pressure to invest in industrial robot systems to reduce the wage costs. The factors above have generated a strong internal tension.

In order to help ease this situation, this programme of study will focus on the development of new technology to make the industrial robot easy to program and use, so that even small companies with limited resources and knowledge about robot technology can embrace it. The core of this new robot technology will be efficient utilisation of cognitive multimodal communication, so as to transfer information from the robot system to the human operator in an immersive manner. By these intuitive and efficient means, easy setup and changeover will be achieved and, thereby, cost efficient one-of-a-kind production will become a reality for SMEs.

During the project, an operational advanced robot laboratory will be developed, with facilities for multimodal communication between the robot and the operator. The technology will be generic, but with specialisation for a fast growing sector, i.e., the robot tasks of grinding and deburring.

The programme of study has been organised in collaboration between the Bristol Robotics Laboratory (University of the West of England Bristol, UK) and the high technology, research based industrial robot system integrator, PPM AS in Trondheim, the “Capital of Technology” and the third biggest city in Norway. PPM AS is the project leader.

The candidate will stay altogether for two years at PPM AS in Trondheim Norway and one year at the BRL in Bristol UK. This can be organised in any way that suits an efficient PhD study for the successful candidate, but it is likely to consist of significant blocks of study at each location.

This will be a Norwegian salaried position at PPM AS linked with full-time registration for a PhD programme at the UWE, Bristol. The candidate will, therefore, be formally employed by PPM AS and have conditions (insurance etc.) according to the Norwegian Law, during the entire study.

Salary will be negotiable for a given successful applicant, but in the region 40K EUR gross, subject to the Norwegian tax of approximately 35%. In addition, there is support for travel between the two study locations and to other events, such as conferences.

The applicant must satisfy the academic and operational requirement laid out below.

  • Possesses an MSc in robotics, cybernetics, mechatronics, production engineering, or similar
  • Qualified to be a PhD student at the University of the West of England, Bristol
  • Interested in multi-disciplinary research and development
  • Enjoys laboratory oriented work including development and testing
  • Able to communicate in English as the working language

The objectives of the project are:

  • Educate an Industrial PhD student in the new methodology and theory for cognitive, multimodal communication related to industrial robot systems.
  • Develop and test new technology for multimodal human-robot communication.
  • Develop a methodology to apply the technology above in an efficient manner.
  • Develop intuitive, user-friendly industrial robot technology, so as to significantly lower the threshold to use of industrial robots in SMEs.

Application Instructions

In the first instance, we encourage informal contact, so please write a letter briefly explaining why you are interested in, and appropriate for, taking up this opportunity, then send this and your current CV to the following email addresses with the subject line being “Industrial PhD: Multimodal Tele-Presence”. Also, if you have any questions, please feel free to address these to one or both of the same email addresses.

Salary Band
€40,000
Working Pattern
Full Time,
37 hours per week
Closing Date
Open Ended
Anticipated Interview Date
To Be Confirmed
 Type of Post/Duration
24 Months at PPM AS
12 Months at BRL
 Location
Bristol Robotics Laboratory
PPM AS in Trondheim
Further Details
For details, including how to apply send an email to: Trygve Thomessen and Tony Pipe. Subject line should read: “Industrial PhD: Multimodal Tele-Presence”

Page last updated 10 May 2016

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