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AI enabled haptic-guided teleoperation: a study on Human-Robot Interaction


College of Science

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Dr A Ghalamzan Esfahani , Dr H Maior , Dr J Foecker No more applications being accepted Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
Lincoln United Kingdom Agricultural Technology Artificial Intelligence Control Systems Data Analysis Data Science Electrical Engineering Human Computer Interaction Machine Learning Robotics

About the Project

This project aims at developing and testing novel teleoperating robot manipulators and assess their effectiveness. You will be specialising in Human Robot Interaction and will study how various robotic features (such as intelligent haptic guidance) impacts performance, operators’ mental workload, subjective experience and physiological and brain data.

We are offering a fantastic multi-disciplinary PhD opportunity, fully funded, working with the Lincoln Centre for Autonomous Systems (LCAS), the interactive technologies lab (intlab), and the School of Psychology.

While we have extensively studied haptic-guided shared control for telemanipulation for remote handling in extreme environments, this PhD will have the opportunity to study this in a wider context and application domain, such as agri-food robotics, and medical robotics. The PhD will have the opportunity to work with state-of-the-art robotic systems/equipment (e.g. Franka-Emika manipulators and Hpatin Virtuose™ 6D) and benefit from the setups at our group developed during several EU-H2020 and UK-EPSRC funded collaborative projects. 

This interdisciplinary project is related to the design, development and implementation of AI, machine learning and/or robot control solutions for haptic-guided shared control to facilitate teleoperating a robotic manipulator for human users. This project also involves evaluation techniques to assess operators’ mental workload and effort based on physiological and brain data by using portable Brain-Computer Interfaces and data science techniques to reveal the effectiveness of each developed technology. Full training will be provided.

By joining the Doctoral Training Partnership programme at the University of Lincoln you will participate in the fully funded 3.5 years programme supported by a multidisciplinary supervisory team across 3 different schools in the College of Science (School of Computer Science and the intLab, School of Psychology, and Lincoln Institute of Agri-food Technology). 

Training opportunities:

  • The PhD student will work with the state-of-the-art robotic equipment.
  • Gain deep knowledge in Robotic Manipulation, Teleoperation, Control, ML and data analysis and apply them in the real experimentations.
  • Gain significant knowledge for Human Robot Interaction studies and Data Analysis.
  • Develop analytical, problem-solving and research skills.
  • Coding skills (C++, Python and ROS).
  • Collaboration with an active team of researchers within L-CAS and across collaborating universities, e.g., University of Cambridge/Birmingham/Bristol and QMUL.

You will be working in a collaborative and stimulating environment, strengthened by the cohort-driven activities, where knowledge sharing and joint problem solving is the norm. The multidisciplinary nature of the programme will make you think about problems from a whole new perspective and explore innovative ideas.

We are seeking talented candidates with: 

  • MSc (first or upper second-class) in Robotics, AI, Human Factors, Human Computer Interaction, Computer Science, Mechanical Engineering, Electronics, Cybernetics or related scientific discipline. Applicants who graduated in the UK with a strong first degree, or complementary industry experience are also considered.
  • Good knowledge of robotics, control, ML, AI, Human Robot Interaction.
  • Programming skills (Proficient C++ and/or Python).
  • ROS experience is considered a strong plus.
  • Oral and written fluency in English.
  • Good communication, team working and presentation skills.
  • Experience with real robotic systems is a strong plus.

University of Lincoln Crowned Modern University of the Year. The University of Lincoln, UK, has been named as the Modern University of the Year in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021. 2020-2021. As an institutional Athena SWAN Bronze Award holder we are committed to advancing gender equality in STEM, therefore female applicants are strongly encouraged to apply.

To express your interest and for further information, please send your CV along with a brief cover letter to Dr Amir Ghalamzan ([Email Address Removed]).

Who is eligible for funding?

Please make sure to check the eligibility criteria before you apply. Normally, a student must have no restrictions on how long they can stay in the UK and have been ordinarily resident in the UK for at least 3 years prior to the start of the studentship.  UK students will be eligible for a full studentship, covering the costs of Home fees, and a stipend to support living costs for 3.5 years. 

Although most DTP students must be UK residents, we also have an opportunity for an international (EU and non-EU) student. The international studentship award will be subject to eligibility, and also the availability of complementary funding (to provide the differential to the international fee rate). You should get in touch with the lead supervisor before applying this award.  

Application

To apply, please complete the application form and send it to [Email Address Removed]


Funding Notes

The University of Lincoln has received funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences research Council to establish a Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP), which will provide skills training to foster the next generation of world-class research leadership in areas of strategic importance to both EPSRC and the University of Lincoln.
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