Intelligent Robotics Lab

CogX: Cognitive Systems that Self-Understand and Self-Extend

PLEASE NOTE:
Both posts have been filled, but a new one will shortly be advertised (probably early 2009) mainly with a focus on architectures.

Two Research Fellowships (One already filled)

Post S43237

Project Details
The Research Fellow will work on two EU projects in succession, if the person appointed can start early enough. The first project is the CoSy Project, an EU funded project on Cognitive Robotics in which the post holder will work on reasoning and planning of sensory actions and visual processing. That project started in 2004 and will end in September 2008.

The CogX project is a new EU funded project on cognitive robotics in which the post holder will work on reasoning and planning for information gathering and self-extension in a more general framework.

Duties

This post (Ref S43237) is concerned with planning information processing and information gathering within a cognitive architecture. The person appointed to this post will work on new methods for reasoning and planning about sensing and perceptual processing in a mobile robot able to manipulate objects, with an emphasis on visual processing.

One goal of the work will be to develop new methods for choosing sensing actions and making inferences about a scene when the robot has to make decisions about where to look, and what visual processing to perform. Another goal will be to develop new planning techniques that combine the benefits of decision theoretic planning with those of symbolic planning to support a robot that can reason about what it can learn, and cope with uncertainty in action and sensing. Applicants must have a strong background in probabilistic reasoning, and preferably planning algorithms.

To plan and deliver research in line with the School research strategy. To contribute to the research activities of the Intelligent Robotics Laboratory and AI/Cognitive Science group.

To provide expertise necessary to develop the area of decision theoretic planning and probabilistic reasoning about sensory information.

Details and instructions for applicants


Post S43438
NOTE: Post 343438 has already been filled. The description of the post is left here for information only.
Project Details
The CoSy Project is an EU funded project on Cognitive Robotics in which the post holder will work on manipulation and affordances for manipulation. The CogX project is an EU funded project in which the postholder will work on learning of affordances for manipulation and on a robotic implementation of the theory of modular motor learning.

Duties

This post (Ref S43438) will be concerned with the learning of affordances of objects via simple manipulation. The work will in the later stages look at modular motor learning as a framework for carrying out this activity. The research will be concerned with integrating novel methods in computer vision with manipulation abilities to allow the robot to acquire knowledge about the behaviour of objects by experimental manipulation. You will have a strong background in robotic manipulation and computer vision.

To plan and deliver research in line with the School research strategy. To contribute to the research activities of the Intelligent Robotics Laboratory and AI/Cognitive Science group.

To provide expertise necessary to develop the area of learning of manipulation, motor learning, and learning of affordances.

Details and instructions for applicants

Full Advert Text:



UNIVERSITY OF BIRMINGHAM
SCHOOL OF COMPUTER SCIENCE
TWO RESEARCH FELLOWSHIPS TO WORK ON COGNITIVE ROBOTICS PROJECTS

Applications are invited for two Research Fellowships, starting as soon as possible after 1 February 2008 on a project due to end on 30 June 2012. The posts are to work on two major EU funded projects: CoSy: Cognitive Systems for Cognitive Assistants, and CogX: Cognitive Systems that Self-Understand and Self-Extend.

The first post (Ref S43238), already filled, will be concerned with the learning of affordances of objects via simple manipulation. The work will in the later stages look at modular motor learning as a framework for carrying out this activity. The research will be concerned with integrating novel methods in computer vision with manipulation abilities to allow the robot to acquire knowledge about the behaviour of objects by experimental manipulation. You will have a strong background in robotic manipulation and computer vision.

The second post (Ref S43237), for which applications are still being considered, will be concerned with planning information processing and information gathering within a cognitive architecture. The person appointed to this post will work on new methods for reasoning and planning about sensing and perceptual processing in a mobile robot able to manipulate objects, with an emphasis on visual processing. One goal of the work will be to develop new methods for choosing sensing actions and making inferences about a scene when the robot has to make decisions about where to look, and what visual processing to perform. Another goal will be to develop new planning techniques that combine the benefits of decision theoretic planning with those of symbolic planning to support a robot that can reason about what it can learn, and cope with uncertainty in action and sensing. You will have a strong background in probabilistic reasoning, and preferably of planning algorithms.

You will work in a team of six researchers at Birmingham and along with partner groups in five other universities. The CoSy project is described at the following sites: www.cognitivesystems.org and www.cs.bham.ac.uk/research/projects/cosy/ Information on the CogX project is available at www.cs.bham.ac.uk/research/robotics/ .

The Intelligent Robotics Lab is a growing centre for research in robotics, cognition and machine learning in the UK. We collaborate with engineers, psychologists and biologists to develop new ideas and techniques. The group currently has 13 members, including 3 faculty, 4 postdoctoral researchers and six doctoral students, and holds over 1.9m pounds in external research funding. As part of your duties you will also be encouraged to contribute to grant writing, and setting the research agenda for the future work of the group. Strong communication and management skills are therefore essential.

You must hold or be working towards the achievement of a PhD in Computer Science, AI, Cognitive Science, Engineering or a related subject, OR equivalent research experience, including if possible robotics/vision research experience and linux expertise. In exceptional circumstances we will consider appointment from someone in a related field with relevant experience, such as Psychology or Neuroscience. You will need excellent programming skills, in C/C++ or Java, together with the ability to engineer software to very high standards of reliability.

Informal enquiries (preferably by email) to
  • Dr Jeremy Wyatt email: J.L.Wyatt@cs.bham.ac.uk tel.: +44 121 414 4788,
  • Dr Richard Dearden email: R.W.Dearden@cs.bham.ac.uk tel.:+44 121 414 6687 or
  • Prof Aaron Sloman email: A.Sloman@cs.bham.ac.uk tel.: +44 121 414 4775


Applications should be sent, preferably by email to Ms. Jo Gerald, j.a.gerald@bham.ac.uk tel.: +44 121 414 7415. Postal address is Ms Jo Gerald, Human Resources, The University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT, United Kingdom.

Please also send an email copy of your application if possible to Dr Wyatt, Prof Sloman and Dr Dearden.

In your application please explain how your qualifications and experience qualify you for the specific details of the post, and indicate how you would like to contribute to the project.
Appointment will be until 30 September 2009 in the first instance, with a view to extension until June 30 2012 subject to the normal requirements of successful project reviews and funding.

Late applications will be considered if the appointments process has not gone too far.

Starting salaries for both posts will be in the range of £ 25,134 to £ 32,796 a year (potential progression on performance once in post to £ 34,813)

Closing date for applications: 23 April 2008
Ref: S43237

Details also from +44 121 415 9000 or www.hr.bham.ac.uk/jobs
HR, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT
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