Post-doc Position in Perception, Manipulation, and Tactile Sensing for Bipedal Humanoid Robotics
Mechatronics and Haptic Interfaces Lab; Rice University; Houston, TX USA
NASA Johnson Space Center’s Robotic Systems Technology Branch; Houston TX USA
Rice University’s Mechatronics and Haptic Interfaces Lab, directed by Professor Marcia O’Malley, is seeking candidates to fulfill three post-doctoral research and development positions in the areas of robotic perception, manipulation and tactile sensing development. Individuals recruited to fill these positions will be collaborating closely with NASA Johnson Space Center, and will be focused on bipedal humanoid application development.
Perception: A successful candidate will have a background in perception development for robotic systems, with a focus on fusion of LIDAR and image data to detect both objects and obstacles in a robot’s environment. The candidate will be developing perception algorithms and pipelines for the Valkyrie bipedal humanoid, which uses a Carnegie Robotics MultiSense SL head for its primary vision based sensing. The ideal candidate will have experience developing robotic software using ROS on Linux Ubuntu operating systems, Python and C++ programming experience, and experience using the Git version control system. It is highly desired that the candidate has experience in porting perception algorithms to physical robots and testing those algorithms in real-world environments.
Manipulation: A successful candidate will have a background in manipulation development for robotic systems, with a focus on intelligent grasping of objects. The candidate will be developing intelligent grasping capabilities for the Valkyrie bipedal humanoid, integrating perception data with haptic/force data to increase the current autonomous manipulation capabilities of Valkyrie. The ideal candidate will have experience developing robotic software using ROS on Linux Ubuntu operating systems, Python and C++ programming experience, and experience using the Git version control system. It is highly desired that the candidate has experience in dual-armed manipulation and/or humanoid manipulation. It is also desired that the candidate has experience with physical robots and testing manipulation algorithms in real-world environments.
Tactile Sensing: A successful candidate will have a background in tactile sensing (systems integration and data processing) for robotic systems. The candidate will analyze existing tactile sensing in NASA’s Valkyrie robot hand, and will explore the potential to increase sensing capabilities with existing modular fingers. The candidate will formulate and plan a technology development path to improve finger and sensor design and integration to support improved manipulation capabilities to handle fine motions without haptic feedback to an operator. The ideal candidate will have experience developing robotic software using ROS on Linux Ubuntu operating systems, Python, and C++ programming experience. Experience in both hardware integration and algorithm development and experimental validation is desired.
Each position is expected to be funded for twelve months. The candidate must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, as the majority of his/her duties will be performed at NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX. Candidates are expected to produce at least one scientific publication while funded and will be expected to provide documentation of all development and a final report upon conclusion of the position.
Application Process: Interested applicants should send, in a single email with ‘POST-DOC’ in the subject line, to firstname.lastname@example.org, the following items:
- In the body of the email:
a. A summary of research background and interests (<300 words)
b. Doctoral dissertation topic
c. Desired / available start date
- As attachments (pdf)
a. Curriculum vitae including list of publications
b. Contact information for at least 3 references
Review of applications will begin immediately, and applicants are strongly encouraged to apply by September 1, 2018 for strongest consideration. Start dates are intended to be between September 1 and December 31, 2018. Applications for these positions received after November 1, 2018, will not be considered.
Rice University, an equal opportunity employer and a Tier 1 Research University, is located in the vibrant urban setting of Houston, TX, the fourth largest city in the U.S. The MAHI Lab, directed by Prof Marcia O’Malley, focuses on the design, manufacture, and evaluation of mechatronic or robotic systems to model, rehabilitate, enhance or augment the human sensorimotor control system. To this end, we employ analytical and experimental approaches from the field of dynamic systems and controls, with inspiration from human motor control and neuroscience. http://mahilab.rice.edu/
The Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center (JSC) is the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Manned Spacecraft Center, where human spaceflight training, research, and flight control are conducted. The Robotic Systems Technology Branch is responsible for the research, engineering, development, integration, and application of robotic hardware and software technologies for specific flight and ground robotic system applications in support of human spaceflight. The vision is to have humans and robots working side-by-side in the pursuit of exploration. Advanced robotic systems technology efforts include both remotely controlled and autonomous robots for space and terrestrial application, as well as intelligent robotics for high value functionality. Technology focal areas within the Branch include: Autonomy, Dexterous Manipulation, Human-Robot Interaction, Embedded Control Systems, Simulation, Tele-presence, Power Dense Actuation, and Sensing. https://er.jsc.nasa.gov/er4/