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PhD in Engineering: Intuitive Human-Robot Collaboration in Unstructured Environments

This funding opportunity has expired.

Key facts

Application deadline 2 July 2019
Start date October 2018, January 2019, April 2019 or July 2019
Duration 4 years
Level of study Postgraduate research
Award type PhD studentship
Number of studentships One

Intuitive interaction is an important aspect of human-robot collaboration.

Recently, the use of image schemas has been proposed as a means for exploring user experience and intuitive interaction. An image schema is a dynamic pattern of organism-environment interaction that gives understanding to experience emanating from human bodily interaction with the physical world. Image schemas satisfy the two basic prerequisites for intuitive interaction: previous knowledge and subconscious processing.

A recent study has linked users’ experiences to the specific image schemas employed to complete a task. This method allows qualitative and quantitative evaluation of designs by identifying specific image schemas and product design features that have been positively or negatively received by the users. This allows user experience to be assessed in a systematic way, which leads to a better understanding of the value associated with particular design features.

Project aims and methods

The project aims to develop advanced mechanisms for intuitive interaction, which enable genuine synergy between a human and a robot and lead to increased productivity, improved efficiency and enhanced user experience. The innovative aspects of this projects are:

  • linking intuitive interaction expressed via gaze, gestures and body movements with image schemas
  • human motion intention recognition and prediction using gaze, gestures, emotion and monitoring physiological parameters, which can be used as markers for early symptoms of negative emotion and job strain.

You are expected to produce high quality journal articles for scientific publication during the course of your PhD and would be expected to participate and present your research in international conferences.

Research training environment

You will benefit from an excellent research training environment provided by the High-Value Manufacturing group led by Professor Rossi Setchi. The research will be conducted at the Autonomous Systems and Robotics Lab, which is equipped with advanced robots (Care-O-Bot 4.0, Kuka IWA, YouBots, turtle bots) and equipment for intuitive interaction (e.g. Emotive, Smart Eye).


Funding details

Tuition fee support Other
Maintenance stipend The PhD studentship is self-funded for a period of 4 years. Some funding might be made available for attending international conferences, travel and research consumables.

Eligibility criteria

Residency Open to all students of any nationality without restrictions (UK/EU and International)
Academic criteria

You are expected to fulfil the following criteria in order to be considered for this position:

  • a four year bachelor degree or a master degree in Engineering or Computer Science. You should have obtained, or be about to obtain a First or Upper Second Class UK Honours degree, or the equivalent qualifications gained outside the UK. Applicants with a Lower Second Class degree will be considered if they also have a Master’s degree.
  • excellent programming skills
  • strong interest in Robotics and applying AI to practical engineering problems of industrial relevance.
  • excellent academic track record and communication skills. Relevant evidence includes a conference presentation or journal publication.

Please apply to the PhD in Engineering with a start date of October 2018, January 2019, April 2019 or July 2019.

In the “Research Proposal and Funding” section of your application, please specify the project title and supervisors of this project and copy the project description in the text box provided.

Please include a CV as a supporting document with your application.

Applications will be accepted all year round until a suitable candidate is found.

We reserve the right to close applications early should sufficient applications be received.

Join us from 10:00 - 15:00 on Wednesday 4 December to find out more about postgraduate study at Cardiff University.

Eligible research programmes

Eligible research areas