Research Associate in Tactile Robot Hands at Bristol Robotics Laboratory

Bristol (City Centre), City of Bristol (GB)
24 May 2017
End of advertisement period
31 Jul 2017
Contract Type
Full Time

Research Associate in Tactile Robot Hands at Bristol Robotics Laboratory

Job number   ACAD102489

Merchant Venturers' School of Engineering

Open ended contract staff

Full time

Salary     £32,004 - £36,001

Closing date for applications      31-Jul-2017

The successful candidate will be part of a multi-disciplinary team on the new Leverhulme-funded Leadership Award ‘A biomimetic forebrain for robot touch’. £1M has been awarded to fund a 5-year project that will apply leading robotics, artificial intelligence, neuroscience, psychology and philosophy of the brain to develop a biomimetic forebrain embodied on a 3D-printed tactile robot hand to enable human-like tactile dexterity.

The ambition of this project is to create a biomimetic forebrain based on computer modelling of the mammalian neural system that implements active touch in animals, and use this to perform general tactile perception, exploration and manipulation tasks in robots. In doing so, we aim to build tactile robots that can perceive and interact with their surroundings with the dexterity and robustness of human touch. The development of a biomimetic forebrain with these functional capabilities will give new insight into human/animal embodied intelligence, of broad relevance to science, philosophy and the public interest, and help reshape the interface between the biological, social and physical sciences with a shared goal of understanding life via an embodied biomimetic brain.

This application is for a Research Associate in Tactile Robot Hands. The post-holder will complement and support three other postdoctoral researchers and a technician, who will collectively develop artificial intelligence methods for active touch embodied on state-of-the-art tactile robot hands and link the progress to a model of the mammalian forebrain involved in active touch in animals.

The project will be based at the Bristol Robotics Laboratory ( the largest center for multi-disciplinary robotics research in the UK.

You will hold (or will be expected to obtain soon) a strong PhD in a discipline relevant to the project. In addition to a strong research track record you will also have excellent communication and presentation skills, and the enthusiasm to develop

This post is being offered on a full time, open ended contract with funding up to 2 years initially, with further funding possibly for 3 years until April 2022.

It is anticipated that interviews will take place in August 2017, and the anticipated start as soon as possible thereafter.

Further information about the Leverhulme Award ( and the activities of the research group ( can be found via these links.

Informal enquiries can be made to: Dr. Nathan Lepora (

The University is committed to creating and sustaining a fully inclusive culture.  We welcome applicants from all backgrounds and communities.

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