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PhD and Postdoc Positions in Social / Human-Oriented Robotics

The Social Robotics Laboratory at the University of Freiburg is seeking for several highly motivated and qualified PhD and postdoctoral researchers in the areas of social/human-oriented robotics. The openings are in the European project SPENCER, "Social situation-aware perception and action for cognitive robots" (FP7 ICT-9-2.1).

  • PhD position: Perception and Analysis of Social Groups
    Topic: Detecting, tracking, and analysis of people and groups of people from sensory data (3D, vision, RGB-D). Recognition of human attributes (e.g. age and gender), estimation and tracking of social relations and social activities, inference of group affiliations between humans from mobile robots. Uses techniques from: computer vision, tracking, machine learning, social computing.
  • PhD position: Learning of and Planning with Socially Normative Behaviors
    Topic: Learning of human social navigation and interaction behavior from demonstration and/or observation. Derivation of dynamic social constraints and their seamless integration into task, motion, and/or interaction planning for autonomous robots in real-world populated environments. Uses techniques from: machine learning, robot motion planning, human-robot interaction, social signal processing
  • Postdoc Position: Perception and Action for Social Situation-Aware Robots
    The candidate is envisioned to conduct independent research in these or related areas, co-supervise the two PhD students and work with undergraduate students. He/she is also the scientific manager of SPENCER. This includes co-responsibility for the project's scientific and technical aspects in a management team of three persons. This is a great career opportunity with the chance to learn or further develop skills in scientific research, project coordination, people management, and networking.

    Desired skills: the postdoc candidate has the best possible match with the following profile

    • Strong theoretical background and sound scientific work methodology
    • Genuine interest in the research topics described above
    • Background in computer vision, machine learning and/or robot motion planning
    • Strong publication record at top conferences and in top journals
    • Good C++ programmer, experience in working with real robotic systems
    • Well organized and good communication skills


For more information on the project SPENCER, click here.

Employment Details

One position is available immediately, two are available in April 2013. All positions are 100% employments, E13 (PhD) and higher (Postdoc).

About the Social Robotics Laboratory

The Social Robotics Laboratory headed by Prof. Kai Arras is a young and highly motivated research group and international leader in perception and modeling of people for robots in human environments. We work in an open-minded, creative atmosphere with flat hierarchies and welcome any stimulating discussions on how to solve the unsolved. The lab maintains close ties to top universities and key industrial stakeholders in Germany, Europe, and the USA. We provide an ideal environment for launching a successful career in academia or industry.

How to Apply

Please email your application, including cover letter (with a clear motivation), CV, and the contact information for at least two references as a single PDF file with PHD/POSTDOC APPLICATION in the subject line to Kai Arras: arras@informatik.uni-freiburg.de

Relevant Links

November 5, 2012