Robot learning from demonstration

The Robot Learning & Interaction Group at Idiap has an open PhD position within the CODIMAN project (cobotics, digital skills and the re-humanization of the workplace), in collaboration with the Bern University of Applied Sciences (BFH). The research will be supervised by Dr Sylvain Calinon in the Robot Learning & Interaction group at Idiap, and will be achieved in tight collaboration with Prof. Sarah Dégallier Rochat at the Human-Centered Engineering Institute (HuCE) of BFH.

 The CODIMAN project will develop cobotic solutions to allow for true human-robot collaboration in industrial settings. We will examine how to support the implementation and acceptance of new technologies in partial automation and human-machine interactions. The project will address questions such as: What kind of interfaces are needed to facilitate intuitive machine operation and flexible reprogramming?, How to transfer complex manipulation skills by imitation?, Which continuous education is needed to prepare workers for cobotics and improve productivity?, and How to foster social acceptance and promote a successful integration?

Besides generating guidelines, the project will also deliver a platform for intuitive human-machine interaction that will provide a basis to acquire the necessary skills. To achieve these goals, the project is interdisciplinary, combining expertise in robotics and social sciences, by working together and in close interaction with the workers. Our industrial partners will let us build technological solutions that are centered on the workers' needs. The detailed research aspects of CODIMAN investigated at Idiap are described below.

A detailed description of this PhD position is available at:

The selected PhD candidate should hold a Master degree in engineering, computer science, physics or applied mathematics, with a background in linear algebra, signal processing, programming, control and/or machine learning. PhD positions are for 4 years, provided successful progress, and should lead to a dissertation. The selected candidate will become a doctoral student at EPFL (after hiring, s/he will submit his/her application to the Doctoral School at EPFL). Annual gross salary ranges from 47,000 CHF (first year) to 50,000 CHF (last year). Application deadline: January 31, 2020.

Interested candidates are invited to submit a cover letter, a detailed CV, and the names of three references through the Idiap online recruitment system:

Robot learning from demonstration