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PhD Research Fellow in assistive robotics for augmenting situational awareness (SA) of people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD)

PhD Research Fellow in assistive robotics for augmenting situational awareness (SA) of people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD)

Do you want to join our vibrant and motivated research team at the University of Agder (UiA), and start your research journey in the field of wearables, cobots, mechatronics, machine learning, sensor fusion? The following PhD Fellowship is currently open for application:

The research topic’s links to the research environment at the Faculty

Top Research Centre Mechatronics: The project is in line with the activities of the newly established Top Research Center in Mechatronics (TRCM). In particular, important synergies will be created with the following Research Themes (RT): Human-Robot Interaction and Collaborative Robots. The mechatronics laboratory will be used to prototype multi-sensor/actuator wearables.

Top-Research Center eHealth: The Center for eHealth carries out high-quality user-centred and evidence-based research in health and technology in a multi-disciplinary collaborative setup.

CeDiT: Centre for digital transformation: The project development and application of particular technologies as a new facility/tool/means of intervention for subjects with ASD perfectly fits with the CeDiT sphere of interest.

I4Helse AS: I4Helse is a collaboration between UiA, municipalities, business and users on technology, innovation, health research and practice. I4Helse will be used as a show case.

The research topic’s links with user associations

The project will also involve the Autismeforeningen i Norge Sør-Trøndelag fylkeslag, the Autism Association in Norway.

The research background and main objective

The Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a disorder that affects communication and behaviour. The ASD is wide and includes different diagnoses that are related to each other, such as child autism, Asperger’s syndrome, atypical autism and unspecified pervasive developmental disorder (PDD-NOS). Examples of this variety may be developmental disabilities of different degrees, language and communication difficulties, epilepsy, mental disorders, various somatic disorders and extensive sleep problems, all of which impact the productivity at work. ASD is further considered as a pervasive disorder that can cause sensory-perceptual anomalies, such as a hypersensitivity to contact with other people. This is even more challenging when considering the workplace environment.

The overall objective of the project is to design a personalisable, enabling technology solution to exploit the vast variety of ASD and similar challenges in the workplace and in the everyday life. Such solution shall be obtained by combining information from different channels, such as personal sensors (i.e. on board of a mobile device) or environmental sensors (i.e. embedded in smart buildings), with the aim of increasing situational awareness (SA) and to minimise the impact of stress.

Research topics for the PhD Research Fellow include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Mechatronics
  • E-Health
  • Human–robot interaction
  • Machine learning
  • Sensor fusion

Desired qualifications

  • Working knowledge of Linux, the Robot Operating System (ROS), and multiple programming languages
  • Experience with the challenges of designing and rapid-prototyping robotic systems
  • Strong academic credentials and previous publications

For information about the positions, please do not hesitate to contact me, email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Application deadline:


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PhD Research Fellow in assistive robotics for augmenting situational awareness (SA) of people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) - Filippo Sanfilippo
Filippo Sanfilippo