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AISB opportunities Bulletin Item

PhD Student Position Available, Orebro, Sweden

     ***** PhD Student Position Available *****

      Center for Applied Autonomous Sensor Systems (AASS)
                    Orebro University, Sweden

A PhD position in the area of autonomous robotics is available at the
AASS Mobile Robotics Lab, Orebro University, Sweden.  This is a 3-year
PhD position fully funded within the EU project GeRT - "Generalizing
Robot Manipulation Tasks".


In order to work naturally in human environments such as offices and
homes, robots in the future will need to be much more flexible and robust
in the face of novelty than they are today.  In the GeRT project we will
address this problem by developing new methods to cope with such novelty
in manipulation tasks.  The overall aim of the GeRT project is to enable a
robot to autonomously generalise its manipulation skills from a set of
known objects to previously unmanipulated objects in order to achieve an
everyday manipulation task.  The platform that will be used within GeRT is
the DLR robot Justin, an advanced robot with two arms with four-fingered
hands.  The GeRT consortium consists of four European partners: the German
Aerospace Center (DLR) and the Max Planck Institute from Germany, the
University of Birmingham from Great Britain, and Orebro University from

The student will do research about hybrid planning for the robot in the
context of the GeRT project.  This means that, when planning for a task,
the robot needs to reason both about the purposes of actions on a symbolic
level, and about the kinematics and geometry of the robot and the objects
it manipulate.  Apart from working towards the PhD thesis, the enrolled
PhD student will be involved in the project work, which is expected to
include research visits to our European partners.


Orebro University ( is a young university currently enrolling
more than 15,000 students.  It is located in Orebro, a city of 130,000
inhabitants situated in central Sweden.

The AASS Mobile Robotics Lab is one of the three research groups within
the Center for Applied Autonomous Sensor Systems (AASS).  AASS carries
out multi-disciplinary research at the intersection of robotics, machine
learning, artificial intelligence, computer vision, computer science,
and measurement technology.  The research and human environment at AASS
is young and enthusiastic.  Researchers come from a dozen different
countries, in Europe and worldwide, and have different scientific and
cultural backgrounds.  AASS also frequently hosts international
researchers and is involved in several international projects.  This
means, particularly in the GeRT project, that the enrolled PhD student
will have the opportunity to travel and to cooperate with people in
other countries.

The AASS Mobile Robotics Lab is internationally renowned for its
research in cognitive robots, robot ecologies and artificial olfaction.
Further information can be found at

The student will work under the joint supervision of Alessandro Saffiotti
and Lars Karlsson.  The student will receive a monthly salary adequate to
the cost of living in Sweden, and will be included in the Swedish social
security system.


In addition to a clear interest in the research topic, to a strong
theoretical background in computer science, and to solid programming
skills, the applicant should have a Masters or equivalent degree in an
appropriate field (including computer science, computer engineering, or
robotics).  Knowledge of the Swedish language is not required, but
proficiency in written/spoken English is mandatory.  Candidates with
previous experience in artificial intelligence or in robotics will be

To apply for the position, please send a motivation letter along with an
updated CV (including at least two academic references) by email to
Prof. Alessandro Saffiotti .  Applications can be
sent immediately and until January 31, 2010.  We are looking forward to
receiving your application!