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Robot Behavioural Learning Using Interaction with a Caregiver

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  • Full or part time
    Dr Elshaw
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round

About This PhD Project

Project Description

The Project


The motivation for this PhD proposal is the research performed by Dr Mark Elshaw as part of the EU ACORNS (Acquisition of Communication and Recognition Skills) project and an extremely interesting symposium he attended in Bielefeld, Germany, on robotics and how children acquire language.

By combining biological inspiration, how child learn cognitive functions such as language acquisition and intelligent machine learning techniques, this PhD will focus on the development of a new approach to robot learning that is led by interactions between the robot and a caregiver. This approach would allow a robot to be taught by a caregiver using goal-directed learning through basic feedback and imitation learning. The robot in the first instance will be taught by the caregiver to imitate basic behaviours and from this the caregiver will move on to teaching more complex behaviours that combine the basic ones. Taking inspiration from how children learn cognitive functions such as language acquisition, this project will focus on learning from limited and often unfocused feedback and a restricted number of examples in an interactive setting. The use of a limited set of behavioural examples moves away from the typical approaches in machine learning where learning includes a large amount of data samples cognition.

Duration: Full Time 3 years Fixed Term or Part Time 5 years Fixed Term

About the Centre/Department


The School of Computing, Electronics and Maths at Coventry University offers world-leaving research in computer science and informatics. Our strengths are in the fields of Distributed Systems, Computational Intelligence, Serious Games and Cybersecurity. Members of national and international teams, our professors, readers and senior academics work with industry to reach new heights of discovery in computer science creating innovations that benefit society and solve global problems. We are seeking top quality graduates to help us in this quest. Excellent supervision in a nurturing, vibrant research environment will be offered to successful candidates in order that they can reach their highest potential when pursuing the PhD programme.

Successful Applicants


Successful applicants will have:
- A minimum of a 2:1 first degree in a relevant discipline/subject area with a minimum 60% mark in the Project element or equivalent with a minimum 60% overall module average, or

- A Masters Degree in a relevant subject area will be considered as an equivalent. The Masters must have been attained with overall marks at merit level (60%). In addition, the dissertation or equivalent element in the Masters must also have been attained with a mark at merit level (60%).

- The potential to engage in innovative research and to complete the PhD within a prescribed period of study.

- Language proficiency (IELTS overall minimum score of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each component).

Find out how to apply: http://www.coventry.ac.uk/research/research-students/how-to-apply/

See the website http://www.coventry.ac.uk/research/research-students/research-studentships/robot-behavioural-learning-using-interaction-with-a-caregiver/
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