PhD Position in Predictive Avatar Control and Feedback
University of Twente Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science
Netherlands

Job description

We offer two four-year PhD positions funded by the University of Twente’s Predictive Avatar Control and Feedback (PACOF) project. The scope of the project, consisting of three PhD students, is to enable natural robotic avatar-mediated interactions, including haptic feedback, in the presence of communication delays and disturbances. Applications of avatars are the core of modern robotics application and range from remote surgery over disaster response to home care.

The project’s focus lies on modelling the robot's environment and control, modelling of human intentions and building optimal control strategies for prediction and error compensation.

One position (P1) focuses on automatically modelling the humans in the loop.

The other position (P2) deals with establishing a mathematical framework based on profound tools, such as model predictive control and modern tracking approaches. A third position, on model-mediated telemanipulation control and SLAM-based VR building, has already been tentatively filled.

Responsibilities

In P1 you will be responsible for creating data-based models of (1) the short and medium-term intentions of the humans in the loop, and (2) quantifying the effects of erroneous predictions.

In P2 you will deal with developing disturbance-robust model structures and parameter estimators, anticipating transmission delays and optimizing the avatar-operator feedback interconnection. This includes control techniques for both nonlinear as well as distributed parameter systems.

You will use these in collaboration with the other PhD candidates in the team to optimise predictive control of the robot and develop mitigation strategies to minimise the perceived effects of mistakes.

The research team

Both advertised positions are unique in their embedding in a team of three PhD candidates who will work to together on three major aspects of the problem: the on-line modelling of human intentions, the mathematical modelling of pro-active control and the model-mediated telemanipulation and VR building. The interdisciplinary project thus bridges computer science, mathematics and robotics within the EEMCS faculty.

Your profile

You are ambitious and passionate about using technology to solve the challenges of our time and improve people's lives.

  • You have an M.Sc. degree in computer science, mathematics, mechatronics or a related field and are experienced in one of the following subjects or related fields:
  • machine learning, behavioural modelling (P1) or
  • mathematical analysis, systems and control theory (P2) social interactions (P1)+ You are an open, creative thinker.
  • You enjoy working as part of a team, but are capable of working independently as well
  • You have strong analytical and conceptual skills.
  • You have experience and interest in modelling human social behaviour or social interactions (P1)
  • You have strong analytical and conceptual skills.
  • You are an open, creative thinker.
  • You enjoy working as part of a team, but are capable of working independently as well.

INFORMATION AND APPLICATION

Include in your application:

  • a motivation letter, emphasizing your specific interest, qualifications and motivation to apply for this position
  • a detailed CV (resume)
An assessment is part of the selection procedure.

Please do not hesitate to send any questions to g.englebienne@utwente.nl or f.l.schwenninger@utwente.nl

Our offer

  • We offer a challenging fulltime PhD position. The duration of the contract is 48 months.
  • The gross monthly salary will range from € 2395,- to € 3061,-- and will depend on experience and qualifications.
  • An annual holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary, and an annual year-end bonus of 8.3%.
  • A solid pension scheme.
  • Minimum of 29 leave days in case of full-time employment.
  • We provide excellent mentorship and a stimulating research environment to accelerate your further professional and personal growth.
  • The University of Twente is situated on a green and lively campus with lots of facilities for sports and other extracurricular activities.

The organization

The University of Twente. We stand for life sciences and technology. High tech and human touch. Education and research that matter. New technology which leads change, innovation and progress in society. The University of Twente is the only campus university of the Netherlands; divided over five faculties we provide more than fifty educational programmes. We have a strong focus on personal development and talented researchers are given scope for carrying out groundbreaking research.

We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status or disability status. Because of our diversity values we do particularly support women to apply.

The faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science (EEMCS) comprises three disciplines that shape Information and Communication Technology. ICT is more than communication. In almost every product we use mathematics, electronics and computer technology and ICT now contributes to all of societies' activities. The faculty works together intensively with industrial partners and researchers in the Netherlands and abroad and conducts extensive research for external commissioning parties and funders. The research which enjoys a high profile both at home and internationally, has been accommodated in the multidisciplinary research institutes: Mesa+ Institute, TechMed Centra and Digital Society Institute.


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