Research Associate in Human Robot Interaction

The position is a full-time (35 hours per week), fixed Term for 12 months job. The location is Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh.

Salary: £35,308 - £43,155 (Grade 7)

Deadline for Applications is 22/05/2023, 11:59 PM.

Please check here for more details.

Detailed Description

The National Robotarium, located at Heriot-Watt University’s Edinburgh campus, is a world-renowned hub for Robotics and Artificial Intelligence. It is home to cutting-edge research and innovation labs across three core areas: Robotics & Autonomous Systems (RAS), Human Robot Interaction (HRI), and High Precision Manufacturing. Our uniquely flexible facilities allow industry partners in healthcare, agriculture, construction, and other economic sectors to collaborate with experts in Robotics and AI to develop technologies and carry out challenge-based innovations that can move rapidly from laboratory to market.

As a Research Associate, you will be joining the Human Robot Interaction ( research group at the National Robotarium, where you will have the opportunity to work on exciting HRI projects. You will be part of a team that is at the forefront of developing innovative HRI technologies that can revolutionize the way humans interact with robots in a wide array of application areas, alongside interdisciplinary teams that include experts in engineering, and computer science, among many others. By joining our team, you will have the chance to work on projects that have a real-world impact and contribute to shaping the future of HRI.

Duties & Responsibilities

In general, to support the Human Robot Interaction Group at HWU in achieving the goals of the group, under the PI’s direction.

• Planning and carrying out a work programme appropriate to the research activity of the HRI group

• Contributing to the writing of research grants

• Contributing to dissemination and publication of the research teams findings as appropriate

• In collaboration with PI and Co-Is, organise and run key industrial and co-creation workshops, events and demos

• Maintain hardware with specialised technical skills for robot hardware maintenance, transportation, and on-site set-up of research robots, such as pepper, iCub, ARI, Flash etc, training is available with this post

• Develop demonstration routines on various robotic platforms

• Communicate and showcase the groups research, requiring a good understanding of the underlying research

• Develop software pilots with industry and 3rd sector in order to create immersive scenarios for different target groups to interact with in our labs, e.g. care providers, older people, health organisations, sports rehabilitation and industrial partners

Please note that this job description is not exhaustive, and the role holder may be required to undertake other relevant duties commensurate with the grading of the post. Activities may be subject to amendment over time as the role develops and/or priorities and requirements evolve.

Person Specification



• A PhD in Human Robot Interaction or closely related subject e.g. Computer Science or Engineering.

Key technical skills (candidates will ideally display several of the following attributes):

• Experience of one of the following: software engineering and software testing

• Very good programming skills in some of the following: Python, Java, C# or C++, functional programming

• Experience with ROS

• Skills in some of the following: user centred design, co-design and development

• Strong analytical and problem-solving skills

• Strong communication skills (verbal, written and presentation)

• Reasonable statistical skills


• Industry experience on projects

• A developing track record of publishing research findings

• Good team player with good interpersonal skills

• Tenacity and confidence in engaging stakeholders in collaborative design and data collection

• Highly motivated to initiate, plan and pursue research and aspire to excellence in all professional activities

• Adaptability, willingness to learn new fields and develop new skill sets


• Ability to travel to conferences and other events worldwide


Applications should include a Curriculum Vitae (detailing qualifications, work experience, projects worked on), a publications list, and transcripts of their degree results. To apply: follow this link.

For an informal discussion of the role, please contact at Heriot-Watt University: Professor Lynne Baillie at Heriot Watt University (