You will be embedded in the Robotics (ROB) group of the KU Leuven Department of Mechanical Engineering. ROB has pioneered robotics research in Europe since the mid-1970s. The group was among the first to develop active force feedback for assembly operations. It has covered virtually all aspects of sensor-based robotics, from the high-level task specification down to low-level sensor-based control, and applied the research results in a variety of industrial applications. In the last decade the group shifted its attention towards service robots (behaviour-based mobile manipulation, shared control, learning control), medical robotics (natural interfaces, haptic bilateral control), industrial robot assistants, and active sensing. ROB has created several spin-off companies that are active in robotics-related activities, has initiated several free and open-source software projects in robotics (Orocos, KDL, iTaSC, eTaSL ...), and has participated in dozens of robotics and control oriented EU projects.
The project wants to achieve a fundamental breakthrough in the field by developing a visuomotor brain-machine interface (BMI) for humans and non-human primates with unprecedented spatial and temporal resolution by means of a multidisciplinary approach combining invasive electro-physiological recordings, robotics, computational modelling and advanced deep learning algorithms in humans. On one hand the project aims to restore manipulation and communication in patients and on the other hand, it aims to gather unique basic knowledge about the human brain.
This PhD position focuses on the robotics-related aspects within this project. Different types of BMI control are investigated (using different brain regions): a first approach uses BMI and robot perception to identify a target object and to plan a reactively controlled motion towards this target. A second approach uses BMI to more directly control the motion.
Central in our approach is shared autonomy. Shared autonomy or shared control is a control methodology for robotic systems where one can gradually shift the control (autonomy) of the system from the robot controller towards the human operator. It is our hope that in this way the duration of the subject learning phase for the BMI control can be decreased and that the robustness during execution can be improved. In addition, intent recognition will be used to combine robot perception with the input of an intracortical BMI.
Besides investigating theoretical innovations related to shared control, this PhD position focuses on a practical implementation and refinement of shared control on a real robot in a real environment.
We are searching for a young, motivated and skilled PhD researcher with a strong background in systems and control, robotics and programming to perform highly visible research in a multi-disciplinary team.
Candidates must be fluent in spoken and written English and demonstrate this in their application (e.g., by means of a TOEFL test, by adding English papers written by the candidate, …)
Candidates must hold a Master’s degree in a relevant field of engineering (mechanical, control ...). Successful candidates have typically ranked at or near the top of their classes.
An ideal candidate:
Please motivate clearly your experience with the above-mentioned topics by listing concrete courses, thesis work, certificates, links to software, …
Since the PhD position will focus on the robotics related aspects, no specific knowledge of neuroscience or deep learning is required.
A fully funded PhD position in an international context for four years at the KU Leuven: a top European university and a hub for interdisciplinary research in the fields of robotics, systems, and control. You will be embedded in the ROB research team of the Department of Mechanical Engineering. The doctoral candidate will work in world-class facilities with highly qualified experts, on a highly visible project.
KU Leuven offers to the selected candidate a stimulating and ambitious research environment in a nice place to live and work . To assist in matters of visas, living, mobility, housing,… , KU Leuven has the International Admissions Office .
A start date in the course of 2018 is to be agreed upon.
Please use the online application tool to submit your application and include: (i) an academic CV with photo, (ii) a Pdf of your diplomas and transcript of course work and grades, (iii) statement of research interests and career goals (max. 2 pages), (iv) a sample of technical writing (publication or thesis), (v) contact details of at least two referees, (vi) proof of English language proficiency test results for applicants whose mother tongue is neither Dutch nor English. For more information please contact Dr. ir. Erwin Aertbeliën, tel.: +32 16 32 25 51, mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can apply for this job no later than July 31, 2018 via the online application tool
KU Leuven seeks to foster an environment where all talents can flourish, regardless of gender, age, cultural background, nationality or impairments. If you have any questions relating to accessibility or support, please contact us at diversiteit.HR@kuleuven.be.Lire la suite