PhD Position Interaction-Aware Multi-robot Task Planning

PhD Position Interaction-Aware Multi-robot Task Planning

Published Deadline Location
17 Nov 20 Dec Delft
You will investigate methods for uncertainty-aware task assignment and planning, using learning and optimization, and apply them to mobile robots that interact with other robots and humans.

Job description

Mobile robots are not yet capable of seamless interaction in human populated environments, primarily due to the high complexity of modeling and reasoning over the effect that robot actions have on other robots and humans, and the inherent uncertainty. Humans rely on intuition, namely the ability to understand interaction instinctively, without the need for conscious reasoning. The goal of this project is to provide mobile robots with the ability to reason about their coordination with other agents and the associated risks, take appropriate actions and continuously reassess.

In this project we will take a holistic view on the interaction of mobile robots and humans, where we will consider multiple spatio-temporal granularities ranging from individual interactions to the interaction of a robot fleet with the humans in a city, and from short term (local) to long term (global) effects of the interaction. You will employ reinforcement learning and game theory tools to build local and global intuition models of the interaction between robots and their environment. Then, you will integrate these intuition models in uncertainty-aware optimization methods to generate task plans and assignments of tasks to robots while accounting for the partially observable interaction with other mobile robots and humans. Within the project, you will be responsible for task planning and assignment and collaborate with other researchers responsible for motion planning and perception.

Thus, you will make a fundamental contribution towards intuitive multi-robot interaction, making it possible for teams of mobile robots to safely interact in human-centric environments and enabling a new level of automation in factories and cities. You will work on the ERC Starting Grant project "Intuitive Interaction for Humans among Robots (INTERACT)" and be embedded within the Autonomous Multi-Robots Lab in the Department of Cognitive Robotics at TU Delft.

If you are interested in a PhD in robotics in our group, but this project does not perfectly suit you, you are encouraged to still submit your application indicating what would you like to work on.

The goal of the Autonomous Multi-Robots Laboratory at the Delft University of Technology is to develop novel methods for navigation, motion planning, learning and control of autonomous mobile robots, with a special emphasis on multi-robot systems, on-demand transportation and robots that interact with other robots and humans in dynamic and uncertain environments. Building towards the smart cities of the future, our applications include self-driving vehicles, mobile manipulators, micro-aerial vehicles, last-mile logistics and ride-sharing. See: https://www.autonomousrobots.nl/

The main focus of the Cognitive Robotics department is the development of intelligent robots and vehicles that will advance mobility, productivity and quality of life. Our mission is to bring robotic solutions to human-inhabited environments, focusing on research in the areas of machine perception, motion planning and control, machine learning, automatic control and physical interaction of intelligent machines with humans. We combine fundamental research with work on physical demonstrators in areas such as self-driving vehicles, collaborative industrial robots, mobile manipulators and haptic interfaces. Strong collaborations exist with cross-faculty institutes TU Delft Robotics Institute and TU Delft Transport Institute), our national robotic ecosystem (RoboValley, Holland Robotics) and international industry and academia. http://www.cor.tudelft.nl/

Specifications

Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)

Requirements

The candidate has a MSc degree in Systems and Control, Computer Science, Applied Mathematics, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, or a related field. The candidate must be able to work at the intersection of several research domains and have a passion for doing ground-breaking theoretical research and applying it to real robots. Good programming skills and experience with programming languages such as Python and C++ are important. Excellent command of the English language is required, as well as excellent communication skills. Candidates with a background in optimization, machine learning, task planning and/or robotics are especially encouraged to apply. Experience with multi-robot task assignment and/or reinforcement learning algorithms is a strong plus but not required.

Doing a PhD at TU Delft requires English proficiency at a certain level to ensure that the candidate is able to communicate and interact well, participate in English-taught Doctoral Education courses, and write scientific articles and a final thesis. For more details please check the Graduate Schools Admission Requirements.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 4 years.

Doctoral candidates will be offered a 4-year period of employment in principle, but in the form of 2 employment contracts. An initial 1,5 year contract with an official go/no go progress assessment within 15 months. Followed by an additional contract for the remaining 2,5 years assuming everything goes well and performance requirements are met.

Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, increasing from € 2541 per month in the first year to € 3247 in the fourth year. As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. The TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment with an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor. The Doctoral Education Programme is aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills.

The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, discounts on health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. For international applicants we offer the Coming to Delft Service and Partner Career Advice to assist you with your relocation.

Employer

Delft University of Technology

Delft University of Technology is built on strong foundations. As creators of the world-famous Dutch waterworks and pioneers in biotech, TU Delft is a top international university combining science, engineering and design. It delivers world class results in education, research and innovation to address challenges in the areas of energy, climate, mobility, health and digital society. For generations, our engineers have proven to be entrepreneurial problem-solvers, both in business and in a social context.

At TU Delft we embrace diversity as one of our core values and we actively engage to be a university where you feel at home and can flourish. We value different perspectives and qualities. We believe this makes our work more innovative, the TU Delft community more vibrant and the world more just. Together, we imagine, invent and create solutions using technology to have a positive impact on a global scale. That is why we invite you to apply. Your application will receive fair consideration.

Challenge. Change. Impact!

Department

Faculty Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering

The Faculty of 3mE carries out pioneering research, leading to new fundamental insights and challenging applications in the field of mechanical engineering. From large-scale energy storage, medical instruments, control technology and robotics to smart materials, nanoscale structures and autonomous ships. The foundations and results of this research are reflected in outstanding, contemporary education, inspiring students and PhD candidates to become socially engaged and responsible engineers and scientists. The faculty of 3mE is a dynamic and innovative faculty with an international scope and high-tech lab facilities. Research and education focus on the design, manufacture, application and modification of products, materials, processes and mechanical devices, contributing to the development and growth of a sustainable society, as well as prosperity and welfare.

Click here to go to the website of the Faculty of Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering. Do you want to experience working at our faculty? These videos will introduce you to some of our researchers and their work.

Additional information

For more information about this vacancy, please contact Associate Professor Dr. Javier Alonso-Mora. Email: j.alonsomora@tudelft.nl

For more information about the application procedure, please contact Recruitment Services. Email: Recruitment-3me@tudelft.nl

Specifications

  • PhD
  • Engineering
  • 36—40 hours per week
  • €2541—€3247 per month
  • University graduate
  • TUD03084

Employer

Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)

Learn more about this employer

Location

Mekelweg 2, 2628 CD, Delft

View on Google Maps

Interesting for you

X

Apply for this job

Apply for this job

This application process is managed by the employer (Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)). Please contact the employer for questions regarding your application.

Thank you for applying

Please contact the employer for questions regarding your application.

Tip: save this job as favorite in your AcademicTransfer account. This gives you an immediate overview and makes it easy to find the job later on. No account yet? Create it now and take advantage of other useful functionalities too!

Application procedure

Are you interested in this vacancy? Please apply before 20 December 2022 via the application button and upload the following documents are required in your application:


1) a letter of motivation explaining why you are the right candidate for this project;

2) an updated cv, including email and phone number;

3) a (max) one page research statement highlighting your research skills for this position (you may comment on your past projects) and what you would like to work on in the PhD;

4) grade transcipts from your Bachelor and Master;

5) email addresses of (at least) two referees;

6) a copy of your MSc thesis, or draft MSc thesis (or a link to access it). If your MSc thesis is not available yet, or if it is not in English, then submit a publication or project report that you have co-authored;

We expect that the interview process will take place during January and February 2023. If you have other temporal contraints, please indicate so in your letter of motivation.

The starting date is flexible between March and August 2023.

A pre-employment screening can be part of the selection procedure.

You can apply online. We will not process applications sent by email and/or post.

Acquisition in response to this vacancy is not appreciated.

Application procedure

Application procedure

Are you interested in this vacancy? Please apply before 20 December 2022 via the application button and upload the following documents are required in your application:


1) a letter of motivation explaining why you are the right candidate for this project;

2) an updated cv, including email and phone number;

3) a (max) one page research statement highlighting your research skills for this position (you may comment on your past projects) and what you would like to work on in the PhD;

4) grade transcipts from your Bachelor and Master;

5) email addresses of (at least) two referees;

6) a copy of your MSc thesis, or draft MSc thesis (or a link to access it). If your MSc thesis is not available yet, or if it is not in English, then submit a publication or project report that you have co-authored;

We expect that the interview process will take place during January and February 2023. If you have other temporal contraints, please indicate so in your letter of motivation.

The starting date is flexible between March and August 2023.

A pre-employment screening can be part of the selection procedure.

You can apply online. We will not process applications sent by email and/or post.

Acquisition in response to this vacancy is not appreciated.

Make sure to apply no later than 20 Dec 2022 23:59 (Europe/Amsterdam).