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Research Fellow (Socially-Aware Robot Navigation)

Job No.: 615308

Location: Clayton campus

Employment Type: Part-time fraction (0.3)  

Duration: 12-month Fixed-term appointment

Remuneration: Pro-rata of $69,401 - $94,190 pa Level A (plus 9.5% employer superannuation)

  • Explore more opportunities with your robotics experience
  • Work with the expert team of researchers
  • Take your career in exciting, rewarding directions

Everyone needs a platform to launch a satisfying career. At Monash, we give you the space and support to take your career in all kinds of exciting new directions. You’ll have access to quality research, infrastructure and learning facilities, opportunities to collaborate internationally, as well as the grants you’ll need to publish your work. We’re a university full of energetic and enthusiastic minds, driven to challenge what’s expected, expand what we know, and learn from other inspiring, empowering thinkers.

The Opportunity

We are pleased to invite interested candidates to apply to a postdoctoral research fellow opening in the Department of Electrical and Computer System Engineering at Monash University. The successful candidate will conduct research using state of the art deep reinforcement learning (DRL) techniques to enable socially-aware behaviours in autonomous robots navigating in populated environments.

Research Project overview: Service robotics is the fastest growing robotics area, with significant market potential in applications such as autonomous delivery, warehousing, and elder care. However, the useability and acceptance of service robots is limited by their inability to plan and act in socially acceptable ways. People follow certain cultural and social conventions when navigating around each other, such as keeping to the left or right or maintaining appropriate interpersonal distance, and service robots should also be aware of and observe these human social conventions. This project aims to improve the acceptance of robots in service applications by developing an algorithm that will allow robots to autonomously navigate dynamic and human-populated environments while displaying safe and socially-conformant behaviour. This project is a collaborative effort between Monash University (Australia) and Cross Compass (Japan), supported by the Foundation for Australia-Japan Studies under the Rio Tinto Australia-Japan Collaboration Project.

About your role:

The successful applicant will work under Dr Wesley Chan, Professor Elizabeth Croft, and Professor Dana Kulic.

The researcher’s primary responsibilities include performing cutting-edge research on the use of DRL for socially-aware navigation, as well as implementation, experimentation, and evaluation on mobile robot platforms in collaboration with faculty, PhD students, other researchers, as well as industry collaborators.

The research will focus on identifying key social behaviours important to navigation in populated environments, and developing and testing novel methods using DRL for incorporating these behaviours into robot autonomous navigation. The algorithm will first be developed and tested in simulation, and then deployed and evaluated on our mobile robot platforms. Motivating use cases include warehousing and sidewalk delivery.

The candidate's attributes:

  • PhD in Computer Science or related field
  • Expertise in deep reinforcement learning
  • Experience with mobile robot platforms and navigation
  • Experience with sensors including RGBD cameras, 3D LIDAR
  • Strong skills in C++ and Python
  • Experience with ROS
  • Confidence with version control tools (specifically git)
  • Ability and willingness to coordinate and collaborate with other researchers and industry partners

How to apply:

To express your interest in this role, please submit following documents after clicking on ‘Apply now’ button:

  • Resume
  • Names and contact information of 2 references
  • Copy of any relevant publications
  • A cover letter with a personal webpage, links to past projects demonstrating relevant qualifications, if any

Other job-related information:

This is a part-time (0.3 fraction) position; however, flexible working arrangements may be negotiated.

Applications will be reviewed as they are received. 

If you are a motivated researcher, ready for the next challenge in your career, we will look forward to receiving your application. We provide our researcher with state-of-the-art facilities and equipment. Please click here to know more! We are also genuinely interested in career development opportunities, we value hard work and dedication.

At Monash University, we are committed to being a Child Safe organisation. Some positions at the University will require the incumbent to hold a valid Working with Children Check.


Dr Wesley Chan, Electrical and Computer Systems Engineering, +61 3 9905 5562

Position Description

Download File Research Fellow

Closing Date

Sunday 25 April 2021, 11:55 pm AEST

Supporting a diverse workforce

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