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GTA-PhD Scholarship in Cognitive Robotic Telepresence

School of Computing and Digital Tech

Location:  Stoke campus
Tenure:   3 Year Fully Funded PhD Scholarship
Release Date:  Friday 05 June 2020
Closing Date:   Friday 31 July 2020
Reference:  CDT20-GTA3

Staffordshire University is pleased to announce a 3-year fully funded PhD scholarship in the School of Computing and Digital Technologies, to commence in September 2020 or January 2021. The successful candidates will receive an annual stipend of £15,285 with PhD tuition fees waived for three years. You will be expected to take up to 250 hours of teaching or teaching related activities per academic year in the School of Computing and Digital Technologies. The posts are located on the Stoke-On-Trent campus.


UK, EU and international candidates are eligible for this scholarship.


Project title: Cognitive Robotic Telepresence  

Supervisors:

Dr Saeed Shiry Ghidary, Lecturer in AI and Robotics – School of Computer and Digital Technologies, Staffordshire University

Dr Benhur Bakhtiari Bastaki, Lecturer in Applied Software Engineering – School of Computer and Digital Technologies, Staffordshire University


Applications are invited for a 3-year fully funded PhD scholarship in the emergent areas of Cognitive Robotic Telepresence and its application in health care. 

There are several limitations in the teleoperation of robots through a distance which keep their functionality limited and make it hard to work with them.  The main question of this research is "How can we add cognitive behaviour to a telepresence robot to make its teleoperation easy for ordinary untrained people?". This requires a rational trade-off between robot autonomy and operator request.  

In this project, you will therefore research, design and develop major required modules including:

  • A cognitive architecture for optimal remote image representation for driving a telepresence robot. You are expected to apply complex scene recognition models to analyse the visual field and selecting important parts of it to help the robot’s pilot. 

  • An intelligent behaviour generation system, which produces behaviours on behalf of the remote person. This goal needs to develop a computational model for human-robot behavioural alignment. 

  • A multimodal communication mechanism for robust, high-quality telepresence using hand gesture detection or eye gaze tracking. 

  • Practical application of the system in Televisit that will bring medical professionals near to patients using the robot.


Requirements

* You will have or expect to have a UK Honours degree at 2.1 (or above), a Masters degree, or equivalent qualifications in computer science/engineering, artificial intelligence, robotics.

* International applicants whose first language is not English are required to achieve IELTS 6.5 with a minimum score of 6 in each element

* Familiar with artificial intelligence, machine learning and mobile robotics

* Familiar with image processing and computer vision

* Strong programming skill in Phyton, C++ or similar language(s) 

*‌ Ability to conduct research independently 

* Able to solve complex analytical and technical problems that occur within the application 

* Able to teach in either AI & robotics or big data analytics


Informal inquiries can be made to Dr. Saeed Shiry Ghidary (saeed.shiryghidary@staffs.ac.uk) or Dr. Benhur Bakhtiari Bastaki (b.b.bastaki@staffs.ac.uk) 


How to apply 

Please submit your application online to Dr. Benhur Bakhtiari Bastaki (b.b.bastaki@staffs.ac.uk) by the deadline, with the following documents.

  1. Your CV

  2. A PhD research proposal based on the project description above (Proposals on other projects will not be considered for the scholarship). Your proposal should include the information given below and not exceed 2 pages

    1. What problem do you plan to investigate?

    2. Your motivation for carrying out this research. Why is it important? 

    3. How will it contribute to existing knowledge? a literature review, an outline of how you intend to carry out the research, any special equipment, hardware and software required for your PhD project.

  3. Your digital portfolio or a link to your online portfolio (optional)








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