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Robots are slowly entering the retail domain (supermarkets, stores, warehouses, delivery, etc.). In this project we focus on mobile manipulation in retail environments. Your work will focus on grasping and manipulation.
The PostDoc position is in the context of the project "AI for Retail Lab" (AIR-Lab) Delft https://aiforretail.ai/, a joint TUDelft-Ahold Delhaize industry lab. Ahold Delhaize is a Dutch multinational retail company active in the Netherlands, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Greece, Luxembourg, Romania, Serbia, and the United States. Besides supermarkets, Ahold Delhaize is also active in the fields of liquore stores, drug stores, and as online grocer, as well as the largest webshop in the Netherlands.
You will be working closely together with a team of 4 PhD students and 1 PostDoc (covering topics such as whole body motion planning, self-adaptive robot architectures, design of human-robot interactions, optimization for last mile delivery, and ethics) as well as a team of technical support staff. The PIs in AIR-Lab Delft are Javier Alonso-Mora, Carlos Hernandez-Corbato, Jens Kober, Marco Rozendaal, Filippo Santoni de Sio, and Martijn Wisse with all of whom you will have regular interactions.
The handling of bulk units can be largely automated, handling individual items is still an open problem despite tremendous progress in pick and place actions. For grasping and manipulation, particular challenges include:
Rather than manually designing and programming robots to deal with these challenges, we believe that robots will need to be equipped with the capability of adapting and learning on their own, i.e., with artificial intelligence. Besides mainly data-driven methods such as (deep) reinforcement learning, inverse reinforcement learning, or imitation learning, we are also very interested in methods that integrate prior knowledge (e.g., in the form of models, planning, reasoning) to render learning processes tractable and efficient.
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 (RoboHouse, Holland Robotics) and international industry and academia. http://www.cor.tudelft.nl/
You have (or will soon have) a PhD degree in systems and control, robotics, applied mathematics, artificial intelligence, machine learning, or a related subject. You must have strong analytical skills and must be able to work at the intersection of several research domains. If you have worked on real robot grapsing and/or manipulation you are especially encouraged to apply. Experience with machine learning is a plus.
You must have demonstrated ability to conduct high-quality research according to international standards, as demonstrated by publications in international, high-quality journals. A very good command of the English language is required, as well as excellent communication skills.
Fixed-term contract: 2 years.
Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities (salary indication: € 3.561 - € 4.490 per month). The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, a discount 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. An International Children's Centre offers childcare and there is an international primary school.
The position is available immediately, the latest possible starting date is December 2022. This Postdoc position is a temporary assignment for two years.
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 and aim to be as inclusive as possible (see our Code of Conduct). Together, we imagine, invent and create solutions using technology to have a positive impact on a global scale.
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