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Department of Computer Science

Social Human-Robot interaction using visual object recognition and hand pose estimation

Primary supervisor

Additional supervisors

  • Angelo Cangelosi

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Other projects with the same supervisor


  • Competition Funded Project (European/UK Students Only)

This research project is one of a number of projects at this institution. It is in competition for funding with one or more of these projects. Usually the project which receives the best applicant will be awarded the funding. The funding is available to citizens of a number of European countries (including the UK). In most cases this will include all EU nationals. However full funding may not be available to all applicants and you should read the full department and project details for further information.

Project description

Recent advances in Machine Learning (Deep learning), Robotics and Computer vision have naturally led to an interest in techniques that enable Human-Robot interaction within a social setting. Such techniques can enable robots to become helpers, guides and experienced companions to humans during different tasks or activities. For example robots can help with the rehabilitation process of stroke patients in a medical setting, or guide young children in problem solving educational tasks.

This project is interested in developing Computer Vision techniques that enable robots to learn to interact with humans by observing the way in which humans interact with other humans and/or objects in their environment. Visual hand tracking, gesture recognition and hand-object pose estimation in the context of human-robot interaction are areas in which we expect potential PhD students will make their original contributions.

A strong scientific background together with excellent problem solving and programming skills are essential. An interest in visual learning using machine learning techniques is desirable.

The project will be jointly supervised by Dr Aphrodite Galata and Prof Angelo Cangelosi.

Person specification

For information


Applicants will be required to evidence the following skills and qualifications.

  • You must be capable of performing at a very high level.
  • You must have a self-driven interest in uncovering and solving unknown problems and be able to work hard and creatively without constant supervision.


Applicants will be required to evidence the following skills and qualifications.

  • You will have good time management.
  • You will possess determination (which is often more important than qualifications) although you'll need a good amount of both.


Applicants will be required to address the following.

  • Comment on your transcript/predicted degree marks, outlining both strong and weak points.
  • Discuss your final year Undergraduate project work - and if appropriate your MSc project work.
  • How well does your previous study prepare you for undertaking Postgraduate Research?
  • Why do you believe you are suitable for doing Postgraduate Research?