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AISB opportunities Bulletin Item

JOB: PhD position on Robotic Interaction Language, Technische Universiteit Eindhoven


The Department of Industrial Design of the Technische Universiteit Eindhoven
has the following vacancy (code 51.045):

PhD position on Robotic Interaction Language

Project Description
This project focuses on the development of the artificial RObot Interaction
LAnguage (ROILA) to improve human robot interaction. Similar to other
artificial languages, such as Esperanto, an initial investment from the
users is necessary. The research goal of this project is to find the right
balances between the effort necessary to learn the language and the
resulting benefit of robust communication. The language should be as closely
related to existing languages as possible to allow for a steep learning
curve but must take the limitations of current robotic technology into
account. Robots speech recognition, language understanding and gesture
recognition are far below the abilities of humans. Philips iCat robot will
be used as a first reference platform since it is composed of standard
components, such as cameras and microphones. Through cycles of language
design and quantitative communication evaluations an optimal solution will
be approached. An empirical benchmark test will be performed to compare the
ROILA against other interaction methods, such as pure natural language or
graphical user interfaces.

The project will start with a thorough literature review in the fields of
theory of formal languages, artificial intelligence, learning theory. The
student then will go through three cycles, each consisting of four phases:
requirements; design; implementation; evaluation.  Each iteration cycle will
deliver a demonstrator that can be formally evaluated and be presented to
the scientific community.

The Department of Industrial Design
The Department of Industrial Design (ID) of the Technische Universiteit
Eindhoven (TU/e), founded in 2001, is a rapidly growing department. The
department consists of 500 students at the bachelor, master and PhD level in
addition to around 80 faculty members. ID focuses on intelligent products,
services and networks. These innovative products enable people to interact
with the environment in an optimal and flexible way. This project will be
embedded into the Designed Intelligent Group (DI), which is a
multidisciplinary group addressing the design of the intelligence in
adaptive systems, products and related services. The cooperating disciplines
include computer science, electrical engineering, neural computing, software
engineering, psychology and industrial design. Compared to the other groups
of the department ID, the Designed Intelligence group has the strongest
emphasis on technology.

The candidate should have a Masters degree in one of the following areas:
industrial design, human-computer interaction, computer science,
linguistics. He/she should be seriously interested in both robotics and
artificial languages, as witnessed by project results or relevant
activities. The candidate must be able to co-operate in a multidisciplinary

Appointment and Salary
We offer a position for a period of 4 years. PhD students will receive a
monthly salary of 1,956 Euro in their first year, which will rise to 2,502
Euro (gross) in the final (fourth) year. Eindhoven University of Technology
has an excellent package of attractive benefits for employees, a child-care
facility, and a modern sports complex.

Further Information and Application
Further information about the project, including a full project description,
can be obtained from Dr Christoph Bartneck (+31 40 247 5175; General information about the organization and the
hiring process can be requested from Ms. Julma Braat, personnel assistant,
(+31 40 247 5883;
Please send your application either as a printed version to the mailing
address below or as a PDF version by email to Julma Braat
( Your application must include a letter explaining
your specific interest in the project, an extensive curriculum vitae, a list
of three references, and the vacancy code V51.045. Application will be
accepted until May 1st, 2007.

Technische Universiteit Eindhoven, Department of Industrial Design, Attn.
Ms. J. Braat, room HG 3.92, P.O. Box 513, 5600 MB Eindhoven, The
Netherlands, E-mail: