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Robotics Summer Project "I Robot... I learn."

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22 February 2011



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This summer there is an opportunity for a Computer Science undergraduate
student to work on the "I Robot ... I learn" research project in collaboration
with the Bristol Robotics Laboratory. The project explores how human-assistive
robots can acquire useful behavioural adaptations while remaining within safe
boundaries. The subject of study is a "hot drinks serving robot". The robot has
head gaze-tracking capability and a robot arm with instrumented hand that can
adapt its behaviour to suit different scenarios. The system provides
information from physical sensors that track the human hand position and the
pressure sensed on the robot's hand. In addition there is audio data to
recognise speech and visual data to track the eye movements of the user.

Last summer a 2nd year undergraduate student investigated how to combine these
measurements into a form suitable for deciding how and when to release the
drink. This summer the focus of the project is on integrating machine learning
into the control loop so that the robot can dynamically adapt to different user
requirements. It is particularly challenging to ensure that all adaptations
stay within the safety margins defined for this setting. The summer student is
expected to assist researchers working on this topic and to independently
explore a small set of self-contained objectives that complement existing work.
If successful, the results from this summer project will feed into publications
related to this research topic in the future. The project may also involve
collaboration with researchers from the University of Genoa.

Funding is available for up to 12 weeks. The project will be hosted at the
Bristol Robotics Laboratory (http://www.brl.ac.uk/). Applications including a
full CV should be sent to Dr Kerstin Eder asap.