[robotics-worldwide] 3 open PhD Positions - Underwater Robotics - University of Girona, Spain
marc.carreras at udg.edu
Thu Nov 19 05:04:22 PST 2009
OPEN POSITIONS FOR PHD STUDENTS IN THE FIELD OF UNDERWATER ROBOTICS
The underwater robotics lab (CIRS) of the Computer Vision and Robotics
Research Group (VICOROB) at the university of Girona (Spain) is
looking for PhD student candidates with excellent academic grades
interested in pursuing its PhD. degree in the context of an European
project about marine robotics. The project consortium is integrated by
8 partners from 4 European states (Spain, UK, Portugal and Italy).
Three vacancies are offered in the areas of SLAM, cooperative
navigation and intelligent control architectures. The details follow.
How to apply
Deadline for application : November 30, 2009
e-mail: pere at eia.udg.es; +34 972 419871 (vacancies 1 & 2)
marc.carreras at udg.edu ; +34 972 418879 (Vacancy 3)
If interested, please SEND AN EMAIL ASAP, and send the following
documentation by November 30:
2- Motivation letter (career plan, motivation for PhD, statement of
3- Copy of original study certificates with list of subjects, grades,
scale (indicate min, max, and pass threshold for your class) for Master
degree, Computer Science, Mechanical Engineering, Robotics,
Mechatronics, Mathematics, Physics or similar.
4- Copy of international publications, if available (max 3).
Project Number: FP7 STREP Project number 248497
Project Title: TRIDENT: Marine Robots and Dexterous Manipulation for
Enabling Autonomous Underwater Multipurpose Intervention Missions.
TRIDENT proposes a new methodology for multipurpose underwater
intervention tasks with diverse potential applications like underwater
archaeology, oceanography and offshore industries, going beyond
present-day methods typically based on manned and / or purpose – built
A team of two cooperative heterogeneous robots with complementary
skills, an Autonomous Surface Craft (ASC) and an Intervention
Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (I-AUV) endowed with a dexterous
manipulator, will be used to perform underwater manipulation tasks.
The proposed methodology is based on two steps.
During the first step, the I-AUV is deployed from the ASC to perform a
cooperative path following survey, where it gathers optical/acoustic
data from the seafloor whilst the ASC provides geo-referenced
navigation data as well as communication with the end user. During
this phase of the mission the I-AUV will be doing accurate path
following and terrain tracking, to maximize bottom coverage and data
quality. The motion of the ASC will be coordinated with that of the I-
AUV to achieve precise USBL (Ultra Short Base Line) positioning and
reliable acoustic communications. After the survey, the I-AUV docks
with the ASC and sends the data back to a ground station where a map
is set up and a target object is identified by the end user. At the
second step, the ASC navigates towards a waypoint near the
intervention area where the I-AUV is launched to search for the
object. When the object (i.e. the target of the intervention) has been
found, the I-AUV switches to free floating navigation mode. The
manipulation of the object takes place through a dexterous hand
attached to a redundant robot arm and assisted with proper perception.
Particular emphasis will be put on the research of the vehicles
intelligent control architecture to provide the embedded knowledge
representation framework and the high-level reasoning agents required
to enable a high degree of autonomy and on-board decision making of
the platform. The new methodology will allow the user to specify an
intervention task, among a set of predefined ones, to be undertaken
with regards to a particular target object selected by the end user by
means of the map previously built. Hence the intervention task is seen
as a semi-automatic process where the target is manually selected but
then it is automatically recognized and manipulated by the robot in a
complete autonomous way.
The TRIDENT project brings together research skills specific to marine
environments in navigation and mapping for underwater robotics, multi-
sensory perception and a range of control techniques relating to
intelligent control architectures, vehicle-manipulator systems and
vacancy 1: Simultaneous Localization And Mapping (SLAM) for AUV
The main objective of this work is to investigate how to merge
conventional DVL-FOG navigation techniques with the recent Results in
Sonar Based Scan Matching in the context of the Simultaneous
Localization and Mapping techniques in order to setup a consistent and
accurate elevation map of the seafloor. Because sonar can see far
away, it will be of interest to study how to deal with range scans
gathered a different altitudes having then a different scale factor.
Hierarchical map structures able to accommodate these measurements
will be studied.
vacancy 2: Autonomous Surface Craft (ASC) – Autonomous Underwater
Vehicle (AUV) Cooperative Navigation.
The main objective of this work is to investigate how to use
cooperative navigation techniques to accurately localize one or more
AUVs with the help of a DGPS-equipped Autonomous Surface Craft (or
drifting buoy) being all the vehicles connected by means of low cost,
low bandwidth acoustic modems. First the scenario of using an USBL in
a direct configuration (transceiver mounted on the ship) will be
explored and a solution explicitly taking into account the time delays
due to the signal transmission will be proposed. Then the sensorial
requirements will be relaxed exploring the possibility of localizing
the AUV with the only help of range measurements (received for free
with the acoustic data packets) arriving asynchronously from known
positions (the surface craft pose). A DVL-MRU equipped AUV will be
first considered, removing then the requirement of using a DVL.
vacancy 3: Intelligent control architecture.
This vacancy is related with work package 3, which is responsible for
providing the embedded knowledge representation framework and the high-
level reasoning agents required to enable autonomy and on-board
decision making of the platform. Autonomous capabilities for
intervention missions require heterogeneous embedded agents working in
a dynamic operational field with hard and unpredictable environmental
conditions. Embedded agents specialise in different disciplines
providing different capabilities or services to the overall system,
i.e. navigation, mapping, vision, etc. This position will be related
with the design and implementation of a path-planning agent. The main
goal is to develop new algorithms for adaptive waypoint-based
trajectory planning including path following, terrain following and
obstacle avoidance. As a secondary goal, the work will also contribute
in the design of an adaptive goal-based mission planning agent.
Academic: Excellent academic grades. Knowledge in robotics, video/
sonar image processing. Previous experience in navigation, mapping,
SLAM techniques and/or control architectures will be appreciated. A
Master degree in the related areas will be valuable but not imperative.
Nationality requirements: European Citizen, or European residence
Contract Type: Phd. Student Grant.
Position: Phd. Student
Number of Positions: 3
Start Date: February 2010/June 2010 (approx)
Duration in months: 36/48
Salary: As determined by regulations of the Spanish PhD Student
Grants (around 1100€/month)
Place of Work: University of Girona (Girona-Spain)
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