[Comp-neuro] Call for a PhD student in Humanoid Robotics and
Cognition, DIST University
of Genova and RBCS Italian Institute of Technology
ryo.saegusa at iit.it
Mon Sep 13 22:37:45 CEST 2010
We announce a call for a PhD student starting from January 2011.
The topic is "Active perception for learning the self and others" within
the PhD program of "Life and Humanoid Technologies" in University of
Genova and Italian Institute of Technology, Genoa, Italy.
For further details concerning the call, please contact:
ryo.saegusa at iit.it, lorenzo.natale at iit.it, and giorgio.metta at iit.it. The
official deadline for the application is the 24th September, 2010.
Theme 1.8: Active perception for learning the self and others
Tutor: Dr. Ryo Saegusa
N. of available positions: 1
How can a robot identify the self, and associate it with others?
This is a fundamental question for the early life of primates and also
embodied intelligence (Metta et al.2006, Stoytchev 2007). Monkeys are
able to recognize their own body under various conditions, and extend
their body schema while using a tool (Iriki et al.1996,2001). Also, they
associate others' behaviors with their own (Gallese et al.1996). This
kind of cognitive functions may have potential to break a limit in
existing hand-coded intelligence of humanoids, and bring more
considerate interaction ability with humans.
Our goal is to realize a cognitive system which actively develops its
perception of itself and others through sensorimotor interaction. The
humanoid robot iCub (http://www.icub.org) will be the reference platform
for this theme. Example of cognitive functions to be considered are (1)
merging vision and proprioception for the acquisition of a body
representation - distinguish the robot's body from others and the
environment -, (2) learn hand-eye coordination exploiting knowledge of
the robot own body, (3) reach and touch an object, then observe the
effect, and (4) build models of objects. An object in sight is just a
texture before interaction, but afterwards, the robot can recognize
independence of the object as well as the executed action itself.
The scope of the theme, moreover, encompasses modeling of humans and
their intentions. How do primates imitate or mirror others' behaviors,
and why do they need it? One of interpretations, here we are drawing, is
that primates might transfer motor intelligence by mirroring actions and
sharing the intention. Here, we introduce a simple task which uses
knowledge about objects and their behavior to "exchange" information
between a human experimenter and the robot. How can we configure the
interaction for them to share the intention behind the pointing action?
Examples of the solutions are (5) identify the robot hand, the human
hand, and the object by the acquired knowledge, (6) mirror hand motions
between the human and the robot by observation and performance, (7)
mirror object motions (the effect of pushing) as well, (8) associate
one's pointing action with the other's pushing action based on
reinforcement feedback signals.
Requirements: engineering or psychology background, (optional) machine
learning, visual/haptic processing
For further details concerning the research project, please contact:
ryo.saegusa at iit.it, lorenzo.natale at iit.it, and giorgio.metta at iit.it
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