[robotics-worldwide] [jobs] PhD position IOC-UPC, Barcelona, Spain

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[robotics-worldwide] [jobs] PhD position IOC-UPC, Barcelona, Spain


Where:  IOC-UPC,  Institute of Industrial and Control Engineering
                                 Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya
                                 Barcelona, Spain

When:  Application period from 03/10/2017 to 18/10/2017

Duration:  four years (starting 2018)

Financial support:  Spanish Government (Ayudas para contratos predoctorales
para la formación de doctores 2017). More information:

Applications must be done at:

- Master's Degree in Engineering, Computer Science, Robotics or a related
Welcome background:
- Knowledge of basic concepts in robotics.
- Programming skills and knowledge of C++ and ROS
- Strong analytical skills and mathematical foundation.

Interested potential candidates are encouraged to contact as soon as
possible with Prof. Jan Rosell, email <[hidden email]> or with Dr. Raul
Suarez <[hidden email]> .

The PhD work will be developed in the frame of the research project  
"Autonomous Dexterous Robots as Coworkers with Human Operators" (AUDECO),
supported by the Spanish Government, reference DPI2016-80077-R

Summary of the research project:
The robotics field-of-application is constantly growing as the technological
advances allow new capabilities and an increment and strength of the already
existing ones. Among the new applications, it is worth mentioning, due to
their potential significance from the productive and social point of view,
those in which the robots work jointly with the humans, originating the
concept of “coworker robots”. In this type of applications, the robots
require some special features. On the one hand, they must have certain level
of autonomy and capacity of decision, as their role is no longer doing
repetitive tasks in the classical way but on the contrary, they must adapt
themselves with swiftness to changing conditions, especially to those
produced by the humans in the same workspace. This adaptation implies an
interaction with the human operators that constraint the robot movements and
actions with the aim of avoiding potential injuries to humans, but without
affecting the robot efficiency. In order for the coworker robots to be
useful for the human operators, it is necessary that they have an important
level of dexterity so that they can perform a number of different actions
usually required in the human activities. In this context, the project aims
for solutions that increment the performance of the coworker robots to allow
their permanent establishment in our society, and, at the same time,
facilitate their acceptance by the humans. With this aim, the project will
deal with the topics mentioned above, developing algorithms and procedures
that make easy the efficient cooperation between coworker robots and humans.
Specifically, contributions are expected in relevant topics, as: the
increment of the robot capability to autonomously manage the required tasks
and the movements to execute them, using ontologies to represent the
knowledge; the increment of the dexterous and bimanual manipulation
capabilities, monitoring the movements to prevent potential failures; and
the improvement of the interaction with the human operators regarding
reactive, cooperative and exchange-objects movements, considering approaches
based on demonstrations or on teleoperation. All the theoretical
developments will be checked and validated experimentally using the systems
specifically prepared for it in the project. Besides, as usual in the
developments of the group, the mentioned problems will be addressed with the
intention of providing general solutions, valid for both industrial and
service robotics, taking care of the productive and social components.

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