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  PhD studentship on Bimanual Robotic Manipulation


   School of Engineering Mathematics and Technology

  ,  Applications accepted all year round  Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

We seek a talented and motivated new PhD student to join our team at the University of Bristol. The successful applicant will join the largest centre for multidisciplinary robotics research in the UK. This project will apply cutting-edge robotics and machine learning approaches to advance the physical intelligence of robots toward human-like bimanual object manipulation.

The studentship will be based in Bristol Robotics Laboratory and the University of Bristol, co-supervised by Prof. Nathan Lepora and Dr Efi Psomopoulou.

The role is part of a €7M Horizon Europe-funded project on pushing the limit of physical intelligence and performance of robots, particularly in bimanual manipulation. The student will have the benefit of being part of a large international collaboration of many leading European research groups in robotic manipulation, and a vibrant team of postdoctoral and PhD researchers in the Dexterous Robotics group.

The project introduces a novel technological framework for enabling robots to perform complex object manipulation tasks, allowing them to efficiently manipulate highly diverse objects with various properties in terms of shape, size and physical characteristics similarly to how humans do. We particularly focus on bimanual manipulation robots that can operate in challenging, real-world, possibly human-populated environments, and we further research, develop and fuse the necessary technologies in robot perception, cognition, mechatronics and control, to allow such, human-like, efficient robotic objects manipulation towards step changes in contemporary service robots.

The position will be based at the Bristol Robotics Laboratory the largest centre for multidisciplinary robotics research in the UK. It will operate within the internationally-leading Dexterous Robotics Group at Bristol Robotics Laboratory, which is an exciting and vibrant research group with several recent lecturer appointment, 25 researchers and a range of state-of-the-art robot equipment. You will use dedicated facilities and expertise from the Robotics Lab in addition to those of the Faculties of Engineering and Science at the University of Bristol and project partners.

You will be working in a team with the two supervisors, a postdoctoral Research Associate and a Research Technician (both to be advertised soon). We are intending to recruit other PhD students to the team to provide a cohesive and supportive environment for the members.

Candidate requirements

We strongly encourage applications from STEM with experience in engineering / robotics (e.g., mathematics, control theory, robotics, computer science, mechatronics, or other related engineering discipline). You will need to demonstrate your ability in conducting research in a related field or a strong motivation in learning those skills.

Applications are sought from high performing individuals who have, or are expected to obtain, at least a 2.1 degree (or equivalent). Possession of a relevant Master's degree or research experience would be advantageous but is not required.

We welcome applications from those with non-standard qualifications who can demonstrate knowledge, experience and skills developed in the workplace, or elsewhere, relevant to the programme of study.

Start date

The post starts on November 1st 2023 and lasts for 3.5 years.


Computer Science (8) Engineering (12)

Funding Notes

NOTE: This scholarship covers tuition fees for UK and Irish citizens and EU applicants who have been resident in the UK for at least 3 years (some constraints are in place around residence for education) and have UK settlement or pre-settlement status under the EU Settlement Scheme. International students can apply but would need to cover the difference between home and overseas fees.

References

Please contact Dr Efi Psomopoulou (efi.psomopoulou[at]bristol.ac.uk) and Professor Nathan Lepora (n.lepora[at]bristol.ac.uk) for more details about this post and to apply. Applicants should send a short CV (2 pages max) and 1-page personal statement describing why they are interested in the post.
Personal statement: Please also provide a personal statement that describes your training and experience so far, your motivation for doing a PhD, your motivations for applying to the University of Bristol, and why you think we should select you. We are keen to support applicants from minority and under-represented backgrounds (based on protected characteristics) and those who have experienced other challenges or disadvantages. We encourage you to use your personal statement to ensure we can take these factors into account.

Register your interest for this project



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