Vacancy: PhD position on Robots in the Metaverse

Posted by on Sep 6, 2008 in Research | 0 comments

The Department of Industrial Design of the Technische Universiteit Eindhoven (TU/e) has the following vacancy (code V51.062):

Project Description

The Metaverse (global standards among real and virtual worlds) project will provide a standardized global framework that enables the interoperability between virtual worlds (as for example Second Life, World of Warcraft, IMVU, Google Earth and many others) and the real world (robots, sensors, actuators, vision and rendering, social and welfare systems, banking, insurance, travel, real estate and many others). The project is a funded through the European ITEA organization and the Dutch SenterNovem organization.

The Metaverse project will start with a state-of-the-art review of existing technology. The first step to classify robots is to create a taxonomy and nomenclature that may be inspired by the Linnaean classification system. The robot taxonomy will define the criteria on which the classes and orders may be distinguished. Some first works on robot taxonomies are available (Fong, Nourbakhsh, & Dautenhahn, 2003; Yanco & Drury, 2004) and will be examined for applicability. The robot taxonomy will then be applied to robots, starting with currently available robots and then extending to historical important robots. Their data will be gathered in a web-based database, the Internet Robot Database (IRDB). The IRDB will be setup as a community process that will enable the interested audience to continuously expand and improve the database. Based on the IRDB and the taxonomy, a communication standard and protocol will be developed in close collaboration with the other Metaverse partners, including Philips Research, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and Utrecht University. Last, several usage scenarios for the communication standard and protocol will be developed and tested.

The Department of Industrial Design

The Department of Industrial Design (ID) of the Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e), is a rapidly growing department. The department consists of 500 students at the bachelor, master and PhD level in addition to around 100 faculty members. ID focuses on intelligent products, services and networks. These innovative products enable people to interact with the environment in an optimal and flexible way. This project will be embedded into the Designed Intelligent Group (DI), which is a multidisciplinary and highly international group addressing the design of the intelligence in adaptive systems, products and related services. The cooperating disciplines include computer science, electrical engineering, neural computing, software engineering, psychology and industrial design.


The candidate should have a Masters degree in computer science, information science or a close related field. He/she should be seriously interested in robotics, taxonomies, web technologies and communication protocols, as witnessed by project results or relevant courses. The candidate must be able to co-operate in a multidisciplinary and international team. The candidate needs to have a scientific attitude and the motivation to perform his/her research at the high level of technological design within the given time frame,

Appointment and Salary

The appointment is for four years. As an employee of the university you will receive a competitive salary as well as excellent employment conditions (including excellent sport facilities and child care). The research in this project must be concluded with writing a PhD thesis. A salary is offered starting at EUR 2000,- per month (gross) in the first year and increasing up to EUR 2558,- per month (gross) in the last year. Moreover 8% bonus share (holiday supplement) is provided annually. Assistance for finding accommodation can be given.

Further Information and Application

Further information about the project, including a full project description, can be obtained from Dr Christoph Bartneck (+31 40 247 5175; General information about the organization and the hiring procedure can be requested from Ms. Julma Braat, personnel assistant, (+31 40 247 5883;

Please send your application either as a printed version to the mailing address below or as a PDF version by email to Julma Braat ( Your application must include a letter explaining your specific interest in the project, an extensive curriculum vitae, a list of three references, and the vacancy code V51.062. Application will be accepted until October 1st, 2008.

Eindhoven University of Technology
Department of Industrial Design
Attn. Ms. J. Braat, room HG 3.92
P.O. Box 513, 5600 MB Eindhoven
The Netherlands

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