[visionlist] [jobs] Idiap/EPFL (Switzerland): 3 PhD positions in perception, robot skill learning and HRI
odobez at idiap.ch
Mon Aug 7 09:03:58 -04 2017
The Perception and Activity Understanding group (Jean-Marc Odobez,
http://www.idiap.ch/~odobez/) and the Robot Learning and Interaction
group (Sylvain Calinon, http://calinon.ch) at the Idiap Research
Institute (http://www.idiap.ch) seek 3 PhD candidates for a Swiss NSF
funded project aiming to study robot skills acquisition through active
learning and social interaction strategies (ROSALIS, see below).
The 3 PhD students will collaborate together, with 3 axes of research:
1) skill learning (Calinon)
2) perception (Odobez)
3) interaction modeling (Odobez+Calinon).
The preferred axis/axes of research must be mentioned in the application.
The project will start in early 2018, but positions can start earlier.
The ideal PhD candidate should hold a MS degree in computer science,
engineering, physics or applied mathematics. S/he should have a
background in statistics, linear algebra, signal processing and
programming. The positions are for 4 years, provided successful
progress, and should lead to a dissertation. The selected candidates
will become doctoral students at EPFL provided acceptance by the
Doctoral School at EPFL (http://phd.epfl.ch/applicants). Annual gross
salary ranges from 47,000 CHF (first year) to 50,000 CHF (last year).
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:
Interviews will start on *September 1st, 2017*. Late applications will
be treated depending on whether positions have been filled or not.
Most efforts in robot learning from demonstration are turned toward
developing algorithms for the acquisition of specific skills from
training data. While such developments are important, they often do not
take into account the social structure of the process, in particular,
that the interaction with the user and the selection of the different
interaction steps can directly influence the quality of the collected
data. In ROSALIS, we propose to rely on natural interactions for skill
learning, involving queries about the skills, and demonstrations made by
both the human and the robot to show what it has learned.
The research will advance on several fronts. First, for skills
representation, the robot learners will require an appropriate level of
plasticity, allowing them to adapt, refine or freeze a skill primitive
currently being learned. Furthermore, active learning methodologies will
be developed, relying on heterogeneous sources of information
(demonstrations, feedback labels, properties), allowing to make
hypotheses about the skill invariants and to suggest demonstrations or
queries. Secondly, to allow natural interactions, we will design
perception algorithms to provide a higher level understanding of people
behaviors and intentions, including gaze information and multimodal
action recognition and segmentation. The different mechanisms will be
integrated for modeling the interaction, implying the coordination
(selection, timing) of the different interaction units.
We target applications of robots in both manufacturing (with Baxter and
Franka robots) and home/office environments (with the Pepper robot),
both requiring re-programming in an efficient and personalized manner.
Idiap is an independent, not-for-profit, research institute recognized
and funded by the Swiss Federal Government, the State of Valais, and the
City of Martigny. Idiap offers competitive salaries and conditions at
all levels in a young, high-quality, dynamic, and multicultural
environment. Idiap is an equal opportunity employer and is actively
involved in the "Advancement of Women in Science" European initiative.
The Institute seeks to maintain a principle of open competition (on the
basis of merit) to appoint the best candidate, provides equal
opportunity for all candidates, and equally encourage both genders to apply.
Idiap 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 exceptional quality of life, exciting recreational
activities, including hiking, climbing and skiing, as well as varied
cultural activities. It is within close proximity to Lausanne and
Geneva. Although Idiap is located in the French part of Switzerland,
English is the official working language. Free French lessons are also
provided on a complimentary basis.
For frequently asked questions (FAQs) about living in Switzerland,
please go to http://www.idiap.ch/en/faq
Senior Researcher, Idiap Research Institute (http://www.idiap.ch)
Senior Scientist (MER), EPFL
Tel: +41 (0)27 721 77 26
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