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Erasmus Mundus Computer Vision and Robotics (VIBOT)


Course Description

VIBOT is a two-year International Masters of Excellence in Vision and Robotics sponsored by the European Union under the Erasmus Mundus framework. Built as collaboration between three leading universities in Europe (Heriot-Watt University in Scotland, the Universitat de Girona in Spain and the Université de Bourgogne in France), it is a truly international degree where students not only learn cutting edge science and engineering but are also exposed to different cultures. Over 50 countries have been represented on the Vibot programs since its inception in 2006.

This is a highly competitive programme aiming at attracting the best European and Overseas students to study robotics and computer vision. A number of very attractive grants (up to €42000) covering the University fees and a stipend for living and travel expenses are offered to the best students in the limit of the available grants (typically 16/year). On average, one in ten student applying is selected for a grant.

In recent years, the amount of digital image information to be stored, processed and distributed has grown dramatically. The generalisation of the use of digital images, in video surveillance, biomedical and e-health systems, and remote sensing, creates new, pressing challenges, and automated management tools are key to enable the organisation, mining and processing of these important knowledge resources. The key subject areas taught are computer vision, pattern recognition and robotics. Research in these areas is very dynamic and relevant to a wide range of sectors, such as the autonomotive industry, autonomous systems, medical imaging and e-health. The course is over two years, students spend the first semester in France, the second in Spain and the third in Scotland. The fourth semester is reserved for Masters thesis.

Career Prospects:
All of our graduates find work in industry or research very quickly and are sought after by research laboratories and leading blue chip companies alike. More and more of our graduates choose an industrial career.

Started in 2006, the VIBOT program has become the leading computer vision and robotics program in Europe. A majority of the VIBOT students have graduated with distinction and around 50% of them continue on to PhD studies.

Links with industry:
Strong links with industry have been established and companies now routinely welcome our students for their final year project. Recently, a 2007-2009 VIBOT student won the BAe Systems Chairman Bronze award for his contribution to autonomous navigation of terrestrial robots, demonstrating that our student are well prepared not only for high academic achievement but also for industry.

Our industrial partners have commented on our program:

“We have hosted VIBOT MSc project for the past 3 years and found them to be of a high calibre - in fact - we hired one of them. Their training seems to equip them well for in medical image analysis research, and what they don't know they quickly learn. The course works them hard - requiring a dissertation, short paper, poster and presentation of their work. This serves us well since it ensures they leave behind a good documentary record in addition to the software output. We look forward to working with VIBOT students in the future.

Ian Poole, PhD.
Scientific Fellow - Image Analysis
Toshiba Medical Visualization Systems Europe, Ltd Bonnington Bond”

“BAE Systems has found the ViBOT students to be of a high calibre and full of enthusiasm. They have all managed to fit into our teams quickly and have made valuable technical contributions. We have hired one student following his placement. We find that, through the students, we can sometimes attempt innovative tasks and try new approaches that are off the critical path of our projects. This can help give us early initial experience of emerging methods or potential applications. The ViBOT students are usually from overseas which has the bonus of adding to the diversity of our student placements, who are typically coming from the UK.

Richard Brimble
Principal Scientist,
BAE SYSTEMS, Advanced Technology Centre,

Facilities:
Our world-class robotics facilities include state of the art robots and 3D scanners. We have several turtlebots (http://www.turtlebot.eu) for land robotics, equipped with state of the art sensing such as the kinect, several human robots (Nao) as well as a wide range of dedicated robots for air and subsea robotics.

Visit the Erasmus Mundus Computer Vision and Robotics (VIBOT) page on the Heriot-Watt University website for more details!

Entry Requirements

1st class honours degree in a suitable subject

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