Postdoctoral position in “The role of Social Signals in human-robot communication” - [ Postdoc ]

Workplace: Genova, IIT
Added on: 11/03/2019 - Expires on: 10/10/2019

Robotics, Brain and Cognitive Sciences Research Line at Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia in Erzelli, Genoa, is seeking to appoint one postdoctoral position focusing on the use of the iCub humanoid robot to investigate the role of body-mediated (embodied) social signals in human-robot collaborative interaction and to identify the minimum subset of signals enabling mutual understanding in human-robot communication in realistic, application oriented, scenarios. The research activities will be carry out under the supervision of Dr. Francesco Rea and Prof. Giulio Sandini.

The selected candidate will work with the humanoid robot iCub by implementing robot’s behavioural primitives encoding social messages as well as perceptual primitives allowing the robot to decode social signs. These social primitives will be tested in realistic scenarios to measure their relative contribution to mutual understanding and to identify the minimum subset, which could be used for gestural communication in specific application domains such as automotive.

The activity will be carried out within a Joint Lab recently established between IIT and a major producer in the automotive sector, dedicated scientific and technical activities, including training, in the field of signs-based social communication mediated by robots. Research will be carried in a fully equipped laboratory, including motion capture and eye-tracking devices, in a group with a variety of competences ranging from robotics to designing of experimental studies on humans.

The research for this Postdoctoral position will involve:

  • the development of methods and relative software to generate robot behaviors for natural mutual understanding
  • the design and implementation of novel models of immediate perception of the human partner state
  • the design of experiments, testing and analysis/validation in human-robot interaction experiments.

The first goal of the research is modelling how the robot could adapt its perception and behaviour to the individual needs of the partner during an interaction, with potential implications for communicative technology. The second goal of the research is to exploit how these models can be transferred to novel robotic designs.

Required qualifications/skills

  • PhD in computer science, robotics, computer engineering or related fields;
  • Knowledge of C/C++ programming languages and Linux/Windows development tools;
  • Ability to communicate proficiently in English (written and spoken);
  • Experience in robotics.

Desired skills

  • Experience in human-robot interaction experiments;
  • Knowledge of middleware for robotics (e.g. YARP or ROS);
  • Experience in human measures and data analysis

The successful candidate will be offered a salary commensurate to experience and skills.

Interested applicants should submit CV, list of publications, name and contacts of 2 referees and a statement of research interest to  jobpost.76520@iit.it  by  October 10, 2019 quoting Postdoctoral position in “The role of Social Signals in human-robot communication” - CB 76520” in the subject line.  

Fondazione Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia – IIT (www.iit.it) - was founded with the objective of promoting Italy's technological development and further education in science and technology. In this framework, IIT’s scientific program is based on the combination of basic scientific research with the development of technical applications, a major inspirational principle. The research areas cover scientific topics of high innovative content, representing the most advanced frontiers of modern technology, with wide application possibilities in various fields ranging from medicine to industry, from computer science to robotics, life sciences and nanobiotechnology.

Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia is an Equal Opportunity Employer that actively seeks diversity in the workforce.

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Contacts

jobpost.76520@iit.it
Involved Research lines
Robotics Brain and Cognitive Sciences

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