PhD Studentship: Assessment of human performance during therapeutic human-robot interaction

Assessment robotics is increasing popular due to robots capability in providing accurate sensory reading during interactive sessions. One of the application areas is robot-mediated therapeutic intervention. In order to provide a therapeutic interaction, we aim to first understand the human contribution during an interactive session.  This PhD research will focus on mechanisms where human and robot inputs can be separated. This will heavily rely on performance benchmarks that can be utilised towards identifying achievements and contributions during an interactive session. The research will focus on aspects of motor learning, learning theory, and its extensions to relearning after onset of Stroke.

Technological Platform Used:

The project will utilise state of the art haptic devices such as PHANToM Omni, Falcon and HapticMASTER robot. The project will also benefit from SCRIPT hand and wrist exercise device, an exoskeletal device allowing to practice activities of daily life.


Applicants should have a very strong first degree or (preferably) a Master’s degree in Cybernetics, Computer Science, Biomechanics or other relevant area, and are expected to have strong interdisciplinary interests (e.g. in robotics, rehabilitation, neuroscience). They are also expected to have very good programming skills and interest in robotics in healthcare and rehabilitation.

Research environment:

Research in Computer Science at the University of Hertfordshire has been recognized as excellent by the latest Research Assessment Exercise, with 55% of the research submitted being rated as world leading or internationally excellent. The Science and Technology Research Institute provides a very stimulating environment, offering a large number of specialized and interdisciplinary seminars as well as general training opportunities. The University of Hertfordshire is situated in Hatfield, just north of London.


Successful candidates are eligible for a research studentship award (approximately £13,600 per annum bursary plus the payment of the standard UK/EU student fees).
Note: Applicants from outside the UK or EU will have to pay international student tuition fees that will result in reduction of the stipend to approximately £8000 per annum. 

Application procedure:

The PhD will be conducted under Dr Farshid Amirabdollahian’s supervision and candidates are invited to informally contact
Application forms are available here and once completed, should be returned to Mrs Lorraine Nicholls, Research Student Administrator, STRI, University of Hertfordshire, College Lane, Hatfield, Herts, AL10 9AB, Tel: +44 1707 286083, l.nicholls @

Important dates:

  • Application deadline: 15 April 2013
  • Potential interview dates: 29 April-3rd May 2013
  • Starting date: 15th May 2013 or soon after