PhD position for Data-Driven Multi-Modal Human-Robot Interaction within DI lab

PhD position for Data-Driven Multi-Modal Human-Robot Interaction within DI lab

Published Deadline Location
6 Aug 2 Oct Delft

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Challenge: Develop machine learning algorithms for human-robot conversation
Change: The ways humans and robots are interacting with one another today
Impact: Endow robots with a social-awarenes

Job description

One of the most pressing matters that holds back robots from taking on more tasks and reach a widespread deployment in society is their limited ability to understand human communication and take situation-appropriate actions. These PhD positions are dedicated to addressing this gap by developing the underlying data-driven models that enable a robot to engage with humans in a socially aware manner.

In order to support long-term interaction, robots need rich models of interaction that include their social context and allow them to act appropriately when faced with uncertainty. Humans use a range of verbal and non-verbal cues to regulate their interactions and are able to adapt how they communicate and cooperate to fit the needs and preferences of their interaction partners. Personalization and adaptation is needed to enable robots to assist people with varying backgrounds and abilities.

The successful applicant will develop machine-learning based and knowledge modelling techniques applied to multi-sensor data (video, audio etc.) of human behaviour that address both the complexity of the multi-modal nature of interactions and uncertainty regarding the sensor data and social situation.The applicant will design and run the experiments to evaluate the created hybrid-AI models through human-robot interaction.

Topics of interest:

  1. long-term human-robot interaction
  2. affective computing
  3. NLP&argument-mining
  4. planning & learning for HRI
  5. assistive robotics

To strengthen the social robotics strand of the Interactive Intelligence Group at TU-Delft there are currently two positions available with potential for collaboration.  When you're interested in the other vacancy please have a look at: PhD position in Data-Driven Multi-Model Human-Robot Interaction.

This PhD candidate focused more on the NLP aspects of long-term human-robot interaction will carry out his/her PhD studies in the context of the Designing Intelligence Lab (, which is a inter-disciplinary lab between Computer Science and Industrial Design Engineering. The candidate will be supervised by Dr. Catharine Oertel Prof. Catholijn Jonker and will collaborate with design colleagues in the context of the DI lab


Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)


MSc in Computer Science or related field.

At least 3 years of programming experience in python (java  or C++is a plus).

Motivation to meet deadlines.

Affinitty to design and social science research.

Interest in collaborating with colleagues from Industrial Design.

Willingness to teach and guide students.

The ability to work in a team, take initiative, be results oriented and systematic.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 5 jaar.

TU Delft offers DAI-Lab PhD-candidates a 5-year contract (as opposed to the normal 4-years), with an official go/no go progress assessment after one year.Approximately a fifth of your time will be allocated to developing ground-breaking learning materials and educating students in these new subjects.Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, increasing from € 2434 per month in the first year to € 3270 in thefifth year. As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. The TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment with anexcellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor. The Doctoral Education Programme is aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related andresearch skills. The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, discounts on health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible workschedules can be arranged. For international applicants we offer the Coming to Delft Service and Partner Career Advice to assist you with your relocation


Delft University of Technology

Delft University of Technology is built on strong foundations. As creators of the world-famous Dutch waterworks and pioneers in biotech, TU Delft is a top international university combining science, engineering and design. It delivers world class results in education, research and innovation to address challenges in the areas of energy, climate, mobility, health and digital society. For generations, our engineers have proven to be entrepreneurial problem-solvers, both in business and in a social context. At TU Delft we embrace diversity and aim to be as inclusive as possible (see our Code of Conduct). Together, we imagine, invent and create solutions using technology to have a positive impact on a global scale.

Challenge. Change. Impact! 


Faculty Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science

The Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science (EEMCS) brings together three disciplines - electrical engineering, mathematics and computer science. Combined, they reinforce each other and are the driving force behind the technology we use in our daily lives. Technology such as the electricity grid, which our faculty is helping to make future-proof. We are also working on a world in which humans and computers reinforce each other. We are mapping out disease processes using single cell data, and using mathematics to simulate gigantic ash plumes after a volcanic eruption. There is plenty of room here for ground-breaking research. We educate innovative engineers and have excellent labs and facilities that underline our strong international position. In total, more than 1,100 employees and 4,000 students work and study in this innovative environment.

Click here to go to the website of the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science.


  • PhD
  • Engineering
  • 36—40 hours per week
  • University graduate
  • TUD01400


Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)

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