Funded studentship in Robots sense of Touch

The Oxford Robotic Institute invites applications for a funded studentship in Robots sense of Touch.

The sense of touch is an essential modality that allow humans to interact with environment and people. New generation of robots such as humanoids, bio-robots, social robots, assisting and medical robots, expected to operate in the dynamic and unstructured environment and in collaboration with humans, must exhibit advanced forms of interaction. For the above reasons it is of utmost importance to provide them with adequate touch sensing capability which can play a fundamental role in enhancing perceptual, cognitive and operative capabilities of robots.

The proposed studentship is related to provide robots with sense of touch. This requires to investigate the following areas:

  1. Technological aspects, such as design and development of artificial skin for robots (stretchability, multimodality, reliability, portability, distributed sensing, etc. to name but few are the relevant aspects of such tactile sensing system)
  2. Tactile Perception: this is related to interpret sensory information in order to make a model of the world. This require looking at aspects such as sensor morphology, sensory-motor coordination and role of body compliance.
  3. Tactile based control of robots: this looks at the use of tactile sensors for improving robot capabilities in tasks such as dexterous manipulation, exploration, locomotion, human-robot interaction.

The successful applicant will become member of the Oxford Robotics Institute and will be supervised by Professor Perla Maiolino. The exact research topic will be defined through discussion between student and supervisor, but it will cover one or more aspects described in the above areas.


The studentship is available to UK only.

Award Value

University tuition fees are covered at the level set for UK, as are Oxford Course Fees (c. £7,730 in total p.a.). The stipend (tax-free maintenance grant) is c. £14,777 p.a. for the first year, and at least this amount for a further two and a half years.

Candidate Requirement

Prospective candidates will be judged according to how well they meet the following criteria:

  • A first-class honours degree in Engineering, Computer Science, Physics or Materials
  • Ability to code in high-level scientific development language, e.g. Python, C++, etc.
  • Experience of data analysis or modelling
  • Ability to use MATLAB
  • Excellent English written and spoken communication skills

The following skills are desirable but not essential:

  • Experience of materials-oriented research
  • Experience in machine learning
  • Experience in CAD
  • Design and fabrication of PCBs

Application Procedure

Candidates must submit a graduate application form and are expected to meet the graduate admissions criteria. Details are available on the course page of the University website.

Informal enquiries are encouraged and should be addressed to Professor Perla Maiolino.

Please quote 19ENGINF_PM in all correspondence, and in your application.

Application Deadline

12 noon UK time on Friday 25th January 2019

Start Date

Typically October 2019