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Research Associate - Responsible Robotics

University of the West of England, Bristol - Faculty of Environment & Technology

Location: Bristol
Salary: £29,515 to £33,199 Band F
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
Placed On: 12th February 2019
Closes: 12th March 2019
Job Ref: 1792879

We are seeking a research assistant with experience of experimental robotics, to work in new EPSRC funded project: Developing Responsible Robots for the Digital Economy. The overall aim of the project is to embed responsible innovation (RI) into technology developers' practices and to create positive cases of RI in action. The project will focus on the domain of social robots, those that interact with people and make decisions about what to do on their own accord.

Working under the direction of project co-investigator Professor Alan Winfield at UWE you will undertake research and development in data logging and explainer systems. Your role within the project will be to develop and test an Ethical Black Box (the robot equivalent of a flight data recorder), together with a system that can access data logs to generate human understandable explanations of what the robot did and why. Working with the project team and industrial project partners you will also be involved in the design and enactment of mock robot accidents, and the processes of post accident analysis.

You will be based at the Bristol Robotics Laboratory, at UWE Bristol, but will work closely with the Project Lead, Professor Marina Jirotka, and her team at the University of Oxford, Department of Computer Science.

You will work as part of the BRL Robot Ethics group, a small team comprising of PhD students, PDRAs and academics with expertise in robot ethics and related topics; you will also liaise with other relevant groups in the BRL, including the Assisted Living group.  You will contribute to written research papers as either lead- or co-author and will be expected to travel overseas to attend, and present papers at, international conferences.

This is a full time vacancy and is not available part time or as a jobshare.

In addition to progressive pay rates, UWE Bristol offers a wide range of staff benefits including:

  • a generous holiday allowance of 27 Days
  • up to 12.5 bank holiday/closure days per year in addition;
  • flexible working;
  • excellent defined benefit pension schemes;
  • option to participate in the cycle to work scheme;
  • family friendly policies;
  • onsite nursery at our Frenchay Campus;

This post is based at our lively Frenchay campus where we have invested in the latest facilities and resources to give our students access to everything they need to succeed – with £300m having been spent recently on new state-of-the-art learning spaces and accommodation to enhance our offer even further. Frenchay campus is within close proximity to excellent motorway links and within walking distance of two train stations, making UWE Frenchay Campus the ideal place to work for those wishing to commute to Bristol.

Please see the attached full job description and information for applicants for the role.

If you have any queries or would like an informal discussion, please contact

UWE is committed to supporting and promoting equality and diversity to create an inclusive working environment. We believe this can be achieved through attracting, developing, and retaining a diverse range of staff from many different backgrounds who share our ambition to be a university recognised for the success and impact of our practice-oriented programmes; our strong industry networks and our inclusive global outlook.

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