Research Engineer Position on Robots Learning Social Behaviour Through Machine Learning

Updated: 5 months ago
Deadline: 30 Nov 2023

  • Vacancies
  • Research Engineer Position on Robots Learning Social Behaviour Through Machine Learning

  • Key takeaways

    For the next 15 years, a greater demand for well-trained healthcare workers is expected. Yet, current trends identified by the World Health Organization indicate shortages of such workers. The use of mobile manipulation robots could help alleviate healthcare workers by taking on physically demanding and repetitive tasks. In the EU project Harmony, we are developing a robot which can operate within hospital laboratories and deliver test samples throughout the hospital. During its travels, the robot will need social capabilities in order to navigate these human-centred environments in an acceptable and safe manner.

    We are seeking a research engineer for a full-time 6-month project on “Robots learning social behaviour through machine learning”, with the possibility of extending the contract on a part-time basis for another 6 months. The goal of this project is to develop a machine learning module that automatically learns what social behaviours are appropriate in certain contexts while navigating hospital hallways. This will involve running a data collection study, programming a social behaviour learning model using machine learning techniques, and training these models with the collected data and other datasets that are publicly available. The possible extension is for a different project in an agricultural context where we are studying how sensor data from agricultural sites can be translated to the farmers and consumers. The exact activities are to be defined further.

    For this position, you will be responsible for:

    • Setting up and running a data collection study with a newly developed robot.
    • Design, implement, and train machine learning models that a robot can use to learn what social behaviours are appropriate for certain contexts.

    Information and application

    Please send your application before 23 November, 2023 via the 'Apply now' button, and include:

    • A motivation letter, emphasizing your specific interest and motivation to apply for this research engineer position.
    • A detailed CV (resume).

    To find out more about the University of Twente , and the [Human Media Interaction group]https://www.utwente.nl/en/eemcs/hmi/) via these links.

    You are welcome to contact Vanessa Evers via [email protected] or Bob Schadenberg via [email protected].


    About the department

    You will be positioned in the Human Media Interaction (HMI) group of the University of Twente, the Netherlands, and you will be a part of a dynamic, multidisciplinary team. The HMI lab does research into multimodal interaction: from interactive playgrounds to social robots. It is a multidisciplinary group in which computer science meets social science to investigate and design and evaluate novel forms of human-computer interaction. In addition, the research engineer will be part of a larger European project called Harmony. This EU project aims to develop assistive robotic mobile manipulation technologies for use in hospital environments. The Harmony Consortium is a partnership made up of various entities: six university research departments, two hospitals, and two companies.


    About the organisation

    The faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science (EEMCS) uses mathematics, electronics and computer technology to contribute to the development of Information and Communication Technology (ICT). With ICT present in almost every device and product we use nowadays, we embrace our role as contributors to a broad range of societal activities and as pioneers of tomorrow's digital society. As part of a people-first tech university that aims to shape society, individuals and connections, our faculty works together intensively with industrial partners and researchers in the Netherlands and abroad, and conducts extensive research for external commissioning parties and funders. Our research has a high profile both in the Netherlands and internationally. It has been accommodated in three multidisciplinary UT research institutes: Mesa+ Institute, TechMed Centre and Digital Society Institute.



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