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AISB opportunities Bulletin Item

2 PhD postions on Long-Term Human-Robot Teaming for Robot-Assisted Disaster Response, Delft University of Technology, THE NETHERLANDS

The Interactive Intelligence group at Delft University of Technology (The Netherlands) is 
soliciting applications for two fully funded PhD positions in Robotics (4 years) for the European 
FP7 project Long-Term Human-Robot Teaming for Robot-Assisted Disaster Response in the area of 
human-robot-team cooperation.

Project summary: Long-Term Human-Robot Teaming for Robot-Assisted Disaster Response (TRADR)
Using a proven-in-practice user-centric design methodology, TRADR develops novel Science & 
Technology (S&T) for human-robot teams to assist in disaster response efforts, over multiple 
sorties during a mission persistently. Various kinds of robots collaborate with human team 
members to explore the environment, and gather physical samples. Throughout this collaborative 
effort, TRADR enables the team to gradually develop its understanding of the disaster area over 
multiple, possibly asynchronous sorties (persistent environment models), to improve team members 
understanding of how to work in the area (persistent multi-robot action models), and to improve 
team-work (persistent human-robot teaming).

PhD Projects at TU Delft
1. The focus of the first PhD will be on persistent models for human-robot teaming. The PhD will 
develop a cognitive control architecture that incorporates new techniques for reasoning about 
human-robot teamwork taking the inherent uncertainty, incompleteness and timeliness of information 
into account. A decision-making framework to reason about coordinated activity will be developed 
that enables robots to coordinate their behaviour with other team members. The goal of the control 
architecture and reasoning techniques is to allow the robot to adapt its behaviour (adjustable 
autonomy) based on the roles and expectations about the behaviour of other team members in order 
to improve overall team performance.

2. The focus of the second PhD will be on the development of tools to enhance team awareness and 
scenario-based evaluation of mixed human-robot team performance in large-scale static disaster 
areas, including end users. To this end, the PhD will perform an analysis of user needs and the 
domain, develop a user interface to exchange and share information within the team, and specify 
requirements and rationale of the overall socio-technical design of the search and rescue team 
framework. The situational awareness tools and components will be integrated into the cognitive 
architecture controlling the robot. The goal of this work is to establish a seamless interaction 
between robots and humans in human-robot teamwork situations. The work will involve data 
acquisition and analysis of realistic end-user evaluations.

Results will be published in renowned journals and presented at international conferences. 
Eventually, the project will lead to a promotion under supervision of prof. dr. Mark A. Neerincx 
and dr. Koen V. Hindriks.
You have obtained an MSc or equivalent degree or expect to obtain an MSc very soon. Interested 
applicants should have a background and interest in some or all of the following subjects, or a 
closely related discipline: cognitive robotics, multi-robot coordination, human-robot interaction 
and teamwork.

The successful applicant will have:
 good programming skills;
 curiosity and good analytical skills;
 the ability to work in a multi-disciplinary team;
 good oral and written communication skills;
 proficiency in English.

Conditions of employment
TU Delft offers an attractive benefits package, including a flexible work week, free high-speed 
Internet access from home (with a contract of two years or longer), and the option of assembling 
a customized compensation and benefits package (the 'IKA'). Salary and benefits are in accordance 
with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities. As a PhD candidate you will be 
enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research 
environment; an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor; and a Doctoral 
Education Programme aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills. 
Please visit for more information.

Interested applicants should send:
- an up-to-date curriculum vitae,
- a letter of application,
- a transcript of grades obtained during MSc studies,
- the names and contact information (telephone number and e-mail address) of two references.
The letter of application should summarize: 1) why the project is of interest to the applicant and 
2) a brief description of the applicant's prior experience in robotics (e.g., a description of the 
research performed in the context of the applicant's MSc thesis). Please e-mail your application 
by November 22, 2013 to When applying for this position, please refer to 
vacancy number EWI2013-34.
Contract type: Temporary, 4 years

Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) is a multifaceted institution offering education and 
carrying out research in the technical sciences at an internationally recognised level. Education, 
research and design are strongly oriented towards applicability. TU Delft develops technologies 
for future generations, focusing on sustainability, safety and economic vitality. At TU Delft you 
will work in an environment where technical sciences and society converge. TU Delft comprises 
eight faculties, unique laboratories, research institutes and schools.
The Department of Intelligent Systems conducts research on processing and interpretation of data 
to enable human and machine to deal with the increasing volume and complexity of data and 

Additional information
Koen Hindriks
+31 (0)15-2782523