5 Research Associate Positions in Marine Robotics - Heriot-Watt University, UK
Applications are invited for 5 research associate positions in robotics, machine learning, computer vision and manipulation. Please see the official details below.
5 Research Associate Positions in Marine Robotics - Heriot-Watt University, UK
Salary scale: Grade 7, £31,604–£38,833
Duration: 1 year, then renewable twice
Location: Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, UK
With a history dating back to 1821, Heriot-Watt University has established a reputation for world-class teaching and practical, leading-edge research, which has made it one of the top UK universities for business and industry.
The School of Engineering & Physical Sciences has an international research reputation and close connection with the professional and industrial world of science, engineering and technology. Our research ranges from fundamental sciences through to engineering applications, all of which are supported by strong external funding. The latest Research Excellence Framework (REF), aimed at evaluating the research quality and impact of UK universities, named Heriot-Watt in the top 25% of UK universities, with 82% of our research ranked as world-leading or internationally excellent. Heriot-Watt ranked 9th university in the UK and 1st in Scotland for research impact.
Robotics has been identified by our University and the UK government as a key area of research with an immense potential to positively impact our lives. Funded in 2013 the Edinburgh Centre for Robotics, a joint institute with Edinburgh University has established itself as one of the largest and most visible research centres in the UK, building on a strong tradition in robotics in each university. Since its creation, we have secured £8M of investment in equipment (EPSRC), £7.5M of investment in a Centre for Doctoral training (EPSRC), enabling us to recruit over 15 PhD Students per year, £25M of investment (UK Government) for new buildings to collocate the centre’s activities and very recently the £30M ORCA Robotics Hub (EPSRC) in Robotics and AI for Offshore Asset integrity management. There has therefore never been a better time to join us and be part of a truly unique endeavour in the UK and probably in the world. Details on the activities of the centre can be found at https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__www.edinburgh-2Drobotics.org_&d=DwIFaQ&c=clK7kQUTWtAVEOVIgvi0NU5BOUHhpN0H8p7CSfnc_gI&r=0w3solp5fswiyWF2RL6rSs8MCeFamFEPafDTOhgTfYI&m=hUfHSlcy_YtFfy_lADYtlHhzfkD7idf20Yq1vL-KJCw&s=9DsxaYU0-TRRHvZ8btxE3Hmc9VRkLUEq2a41Nirkgng&e=
The Institute of Signals Sensors and Systems (ISSS) in the School of Engineering and Physical Sciences at Heriot-Watt University is recruiting Research Associates to perform cutting-edge research on marine robotics applied to the offshore energy sector. This is part of the ORCA Hub, a large Robotics and Artificial Intelligence Hub, delivered in collaboration with Edinburgh University, Imperial College London, Liverpool and Oxford Universities and supported by over 30 companies representing the major players in the offshore energy sector. The positions represent a unique opportunity to work with truly world leading academics and fellow research associates (a total of 30 will be recruited across the Hub) on frontier research for robotics in extreme environments.
To maximise safety, efficiency, and reliability of offshore energy production, the international industry has a long-term vision of completely autonomous offshore platforms and assets: fully operated, inspected, certified and maintained from the shore. The ORCA Hub's activities are designed to lead advancement in key robotics and AI technologies that will create a step change in current practice of inspection, repair and maintenance offshore.
The multidisciplinary research team currently being assembled between Heriot Watt (Lead) and its partner universities (Edinburgh, Imperial College, Liverpool, Oxford) will key scientific challenges including:
(a) Mapping and surveying of complex structures using multiple robots equipped with distributed, mobile optical and acoustic spatial sensors and industry accepted non-destructive evaluation (NDE) sensors in the dynamic and challenging off-shore environment.
(b) Planning and execution of efficient, localisable and repeatable navigation and interaction of heterogeneous robotic deployment platforms (wheeled and legged for topside, aerial, marine) for sensor placement and manipulation in extreme and dynamic conditions - with specific emphasis on failure prediction, re-planning and recovery strategies.
(c) Human machine teaming through effective communication of world view, system actions and plan failures between remote robot and operator to develop trust and avoid unnecessary aborts.
(d) Designing robotic systems that can self-certify and guarantee their safe operation including when learning systems are included, predicting and diagnosing faults.
The positions advertised here (Research Associates in Marine Robotics) target cutting-edge research in the following areas:
1 - Subsea 3D localisation, mapping subsea fusing acoustics (sonar), video and laser data and using the latest developments in Deep Learning to provide robust solutions in complex visibility conditions. Challenge (a). Collaboration with Oxford University.
2- Mapping and fusion approaches to extend the work of 1 to multi-robot scenarios and include sensor fusion across environments. Challenge (a). Collaboration with Oxford University and Imperial College London.
3- Scene understanding including semantic mapping and change detection to identify potential structures of interest and enable interaction between robots and structures and support intelligent sensor placements on structures. Challenges (a) & (b). Collaboration with Oxford University
4- Underwater manipulation in dynamic environments from a mobile platform. A particular challenge for marine robotic platforms is the presence of disturbances caused by wave, sea currents and wind loading while deploying sensors onto structures that may be moving. We will study these interactions to improve controllability and station-keeping. Collaboration with Edinburgh University
5- We will investigate low-cost mobile sensor-networks that contain many (10+) exterioceptive sensing modalities as well as low-power local/global communications. These “limpets” will be developed to transduce environmental parameters, and will allow us to develop new strategies and algorithms for robust communications in the top-side and marine environments. Challenge (a). Collaboration with Edinburgh University.
The researchers will be supported by an experienced professional team for project management, outreach, commercialization and industry liaison. You will also receive complementary training in a range of areas (robot ethics, outreach, commercialization, etc.) and will be offered numerous professional development opportunities will be offered to maximize your career development.
Candidates will have will have a PhD in electrical engineering, computer science, applied mathematics, physics, or a related area. Strong competences in sensor processing, mobile robotics, Machine Learning and control are required, with hands on experience with implementation of algorithms on real robots. You will be working as part of a large team of researchers and we expect excellent communication and teamwork ability from any candidates to these positions.
Exact salary within scale 7 can be negotiated on experience and excellence criteria. Outstanding candidates may also be granted responsibility of co-supervising a PhD student on a subject related to their research.
Screening of applications will start December 1st, 2017. Applications will be fully considered until the positions are filled. The positions should start mid January, 2018 and at the latest in March 1, 2018.
It is strongly recommended to contact Professor Yvan Petillot by email at [hidden email] for a first expression of interest, as well as any informal inquiry, prior to a formal application
Applications can be submitted at https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__www.hw.ac.uk_about_work_jobs_job-5FSVJDMTIxOTA.htm&d=DwIFaQ&c=clK7kQUTWtAVEOVIgvi0NU5BOUHhpN0H8p7CSfnc_gI&r=0w3solp5fswiyWF2RL6rSs8MCeFamFEPafDTOhgTfYI&m=hUfHSlcy_YtFfy_lADYtlHhzfkD7idf20Yq1vL-KJCw&s=Nov8oK_kCtBaY4qRkIQzZqQ-ijCNZ7jZrLtzVP8yp8o&e=.
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