PostDoc Position, AIROBOTS Project, University of Twente, Netherlands

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The University of Twente is an entrepreneurial research university, located about 200 km from Amsterdam in Enschede, a city in Twente, the garden of the Netherlands with excellent recreation facilities. Organized over 5 faculties, the UT offers 20 educational programs ranging from applied physics, public and business administration, communication studies and diverse programs in engineering technology. Research takes place within the context of institutes and focuses, among other things, on nanotechnology, information and communication technology (CTIT), biomedical technology, policy studies, construction management & engineering, and mechanics. More than 7,000 students and 2,700 staff members live, work and recreate at the UT, the Netherlands` only campus university with a park-like atmosphere and numerous sporting facilities.

In the Control Engineering (CE) Laboratory of the faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science we have a vacancy:

PostDoc position in the project ‘AIROBOTS’ at the University of Twente

The AIROBOTS Project
The goal of the AIRobots project is to develop a new generation of aerial service robots capable to support human beings in all those activities which require the ability to interact actively and safely with environments not constrained on ground but, indeed, freely in air. The step forward with respect to the classical field of aerial robotics is to realize aerial vehicles able to accomplish a large variety of applications, such as inspection of buildings and large infrastructures, sample picking, aerial remote manipulation, etc.

The starting point is an aerial platform whose aeromechanical configuration allows the vehicle to interact with the environment in a non-destructive way and to hover close to operating points. Rotary-wing aerial vehicles with shrouded propellers represent the basic airframes, which will be then equipped with appropriate robotic end-effectors and sensors in order to transform the aerial platform into an aerial service robot, a system able to fly and to achieve robotic tasks.

Advanced automatic control algorithms will be conceived to govern the aerial platform, which will be remotely supervised by the operator with the use of haptic devices. Particular emphasis will be given to develop advanced human-in-the-loop and autonomous navigation control strategies relying upon a cooperative and adaptive interaction between the on-board automatic control and the remote operator. Force and visual feedback strategies will be investigated in order to transform the aerial platform in a `flying hand` suitable for aerial manipulation.

The PostDoc will be responsible for the mechatronic development of the robotic arm and end-effector to be implemented on the aerial vehicle.

About the involved research institutes
The research will be carried out in the Control Engineering (CE) Laboratory of the faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science (EWI), which is embedded among other in the Institute of Mechanics Processes And Control Twente (IMPACT).

What we ask
A PhD degree with focus in avionics or mechatronics with demonstrated abilities in the fields of research described above: modeling and mechanical design. Good knowledge of the English language in written and spoken form. Ability to perform research individually and also work in a team.

What we offer
We offer a temporary contract for a period of 18 months in an interesting scientific environment. The minimum salary is € 2.861 gross per month and will depend on the relevant experience in this field of expertise and background.

In addition to this, we offer a holiday allowance (amounts to 8%), an end-of-year bonus of 8.3%, various sporting and cultural facilities at reduced rate, and a lot more facilities.

Please send your applications to: CEsecretary[at] and mention the number 10/040 (CE2010-12) of this vacancy before the 1  June 2010.

The applications should include:

  • A motivation letter
  • A resume/bio
  • Pointer to the most important publications and/or PhD thesis
  • Recommendation letter(s)



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