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Open Position

Open position's detailed data


Type: PhD Student
Name (ID): Robot learning from demonstration (OP-20191223-135120)
Supervised by: Sylvain Calinon


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 D├ęgallier 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.

About Idiap:

Idiap is an independent, not-for-profit, research institute recognized and funded by the Swiss Federal Government, the State of Valais, and the City of Martigny.

Idiap offers competitive salaries and conditions at all levels in a young, high-quality, dynamic, and multicultural environment. Idiap is an equal opportunity employer and is actively involved in the "Advancement of Women in Science" European initiative. The Institute seeks to maintain a principle of open competition (on the basis of merit) to appoint the best candidate, provides equal opportunity for all candidates, and equally encourage both genders to apply.

Idiap is located in the town of Martigny in Valais, a scenic region in the south of Switzerland, surrounded by the highest mountains of Europe, and offering exceptional quality of life, exciting recreational activities, including hiking, climbing and skiing, as well as varied cultural activities. It is within close proximity to Lausanne and Geneva. Although Idiap is located in the French part of Switzerland, English is the official working language. Free French lessons are also provided on a complimentary basis.

For frequently asked questions (FAQs) about living in Switzerland, please go to

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