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Research Associate in Neurorobotics

Job Description

The Human Brain Project (https://www.humanbrainproject.eu/en/) is an EU funded 10 year research project to develop ICT platforms and infrastructure to promote neuroscience research of the human brain. The Bristol Robotics Laboratory at the University of the West of England is partnered with 110 other institutions across Europe in the project, contributing through the use of robotics to embody and situate models of cognitive neural structures. The project is funded by the Horizon 2020 scheme to which the UK is fully committed for the duration of the project (April 2013 - April 2023).

The Bristol Robotics Laboratory has recently commissioned a new rodent-like, visual-tactile robot to validate neuro-plausible models of spatial memory and multi-sensory reconstruction being developed in close collaboration with neuroscience and other engineering partners. The focus of the final phase of the project is evaluating and incorporating event-driven, or "spike based", models of spatial memory and other cognitive capacities in the control of mobile robots. This will include the use of real-time, embedded neuromorphic hardware to realise the neural models and to interface with robotic hardware. We will also introduce a neural plausible model of representation learning to the robotics and sensory fusion community. This will be applied to the visual-tactile robot (physical and simulated) and evaluated against contemporary learning approaches in the context of place recognition, sensory reconstruction and cognitive mapping.

The ideal candidates will be familiar with conventional robotic control and systems integration, and be literate in contemporary computing tools and languages; Linux OS, C/C++, Python, MATLAB, Git and ROS. The role will involve assisting with prototyping and developing neural components and structures, and integrating state of the art neuromorphic computing devices with physical robots. As such, an interest in contemporary systems and cognitive neuroscience theory and practice would be desirable.

The post will be based at the Bristol Robotics Laboratory but will require frequent travel within Europe to attend project alignment meetings and workshops, as well as attendance at international robotics conferences.

In line with the European Commission's gender agenda for Horizon 2020 (https://ec.europa.eu/programmes/horizon2020/node/797#Article), the HBP aims to play a pioneering role in advancing gender equality by aiming for a balance between male and female scientists in research teams and decision-making, as well as promoting awareness of gender equality in research and innovation.

In addition to progressive pay rates, UWE Bristol offers a wide range of employee benefits.

UWE is committed to supporting and promoting equality and diversity to create an inclusive working environment. We believe this can be achieved through attracting, developing, and retaining a diverse range of staff from many different backgrounds who share our ambition to be a university recognised for the success and impact of our practice-oriented programmes; our strong industry networks and our inclusive global outlook.

Salary: £30,046 to £33,797
Employment Type: Full Time
Contact Information
Name: Martin Pearson