Postdoctoral position in “Robotics vision for Action Understanding and Action Planning in Human-Robot Collaboration” - [ Postdoc ]

Workplace: Genova, IIT
Added on: 11/07/2019 - Expires on: 01/08/2019

One postdoctoral position focusing on enabling robots with human-like action understanding skills and with the ability to adapt their own actions to the human partner, so as to maximize human robot coordination.

Working efficiently together relies on mutual understanding of the two agents, often based on the comprehension of what the partner is doing and when it is the right moment to act. Humans are quite effective in establishing this type of coordination, which would be desirable also for human-robot interaction. To this aim, it is crucial to enable robots to understand and anticipate human activities during interaction. On the other hand, it is equally important that robot action planning is considerate of human, i.e. aimed at maximizing action legibility and the establishment of a rapport with the person.

The selected candidate will work on the investigation and implementation of computer vision approaches supporting action understanding and anticipation in human-robot interaction.  Furthermore, the post-doc will work on robot action generation aimed at maximizing human understanding and anticipation of robot actions.

The successful applicant will join an interdisciplinary team based at Center for Human Technologies (, Genoa, Italy, and conduct research within the Cognitive Architecture for Collaborative Technologies (CONTACT) Research Line (Principal Investigator: Alessandra Sciutti).  Research will happen in a fully equipped laboratory, supplied with an iCub humanoid robot, motion capture and eye-tracking devices, in a group with a variety of competences ranging from robotics to psychology and bioengineering.

The research for this Postdoctoral position will involve:

  • Development and validation of computational models for action understanding.
  • Implementation and testing of robot legible or understandable actions.
  • Design of experiments, testing and data analysis in human-human and human-robot interaction settings.

The goal of the research is establishing bi-directional vision-based action understanding between humans and robots, with implications for the implementation of future collaborative robotics technologies.

Required qualifications/skills                                                 

  • PhD in computer science, robotics, computer engineering,  biomedical engineering or related fields;
  • Ability to communicate proficiently in English (written and spoken);
  • Knowledge of C/C++ programming languages
  • Experience in Human Robot Interaction
  • Experience in Computer Vision
  • Experience in data analysis and statistics.

Desired skills

  • Experience with psychophysical measurements and motion tracking;
  • Knowledge of Matlab and/or R

The successful candidate will be offered a salary commensurate to experience and skills.

Interested applicants should submit CV, list of publications, name and contacts of 2 referees and a statement of research interest to by August 1st, 2019 quoting Postdoctoral position in “Robotics vision for Action Understanding and Action Planning in Human-Robot Collaboration” – CB 76413” in the subject line.

Fondazione Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia – IIT ( - was founded with the objective of promoting Italy's technological development and further education in science and technology. In this framework, IIT’s scientific program is based on the combination of basic scientific research with the development of technical applications, a major inspirational principle. The research areas cover scientific topics of high innovative content, representing the most advanced frontiers of modern technology, with wide application possibilities in various fields ranging from medicine to industry, from computer science to robotics, life sciences and nanobiotechnology.

Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia is an Equal Opportunity Employer that actively seeks diversity in the workforce.

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Involved Research lines
COgNiTive Architecture for Collaborative Technologies


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