Two Fully-Funded PhD Positions in Intelligent Mobile Robotics

Recruitment for these positions is now at an advanced stage. Whilst exceptional candidates are welcome to contact us, we cannot guarantee all new applications will be considered.

(This is an advert for PhD positions. We also have an advert for postdoc positions on the same project.)

We are looking for two PhD students to work on topics connected with the new FP7-funded project STRANDS ”Spatio-Temporal Representations and Activities for Cognitive Control in Long-Term Scenarios”. STRANDS will develop new technologies to allow mobile robots to acquire and use semantic maps of indoor spaces that capture not just spatial information (walls, doors etc.), but also the spatio-temporal structure of the dynamics which change such spaces (e.g. human activities with objects). To do this, these robots must be able learn and operate reliably in long-term deployments (from weeks to months of autonomous activity). Our robots will be tested over long-term operation in real-world care and building security applications.

STRANDS is coordinated by the Intelligent Robotics Lab in the School of Computer Science at the University of Birmingham, UK. As a member of the STRANDS team you will be working with five other leading EU research groups and two industrial partners. You will work as part of a team of six researchers on STRANDS at Birmingham, and around 30 researchers in STRANDS as a whole. The work will be performed in the world-class research environment provided by the IRLab, alongside exceptional researchers on national and EU projects, including two further new EU projects starting in early 2013.

The challenging tasks to be undertaken at Birmingham in STRANDS include learning qualitative spatial representations of indoor environments; planning the sequence of observations a mobile robot should make to learn and recognise activities (i.e. active spatio-temporal mapping); and the integration of motivation, learning and temporal behaviour planning capabilities into a rich architecture for long-term robot perception and action.  PhD candidates are expected to play a lead role creating original solutions to one or more of these problems, with the exact PhD topics being determined early in the project. Possible topics include the following:

The project will start on April 1st 2013, and although we prefer candidates who can start then, we are willing to wait if you need to finish your current studies.

In the first instance contact Dr Nick Hawes ( and Dr Jeremy Wyatt ( with your CV and transcript. Put “STRANDS PhD Application” in the subject line. If appropriate we will contact applicants to discuss things further.

Article posted by: Nick Hawes
Article categories: news, recruitment