[robotics-worldwide] 2011 Marine Robotics/AI Planning & Execution, Machine Learning Summer Internship, Monterey Bay California
Kanna.Rajan at mbari.org
Sat Jan 1 20:19:44 PST 2011
[Apologies if you receive multiple copies of this announcement]
MBARI's Autonomous Systems group has an opening for one internship
position for the summer of 2011 for a beginning PhD student.
MBARI (Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute http://www.mbari.org)
is a private non-profit oceanographic research institute which has
engaged in inter-disciplinary research in the ocean sciences and
technology for over 20 years. The institute does advanced work in
Robotics, Genetics, Micro-Biology and Ocean Exploration and Observing
with 3 ocean going ships, 2 Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROV's) and 3
Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUV's) in addition to state-of-the-art
science and technology facilities. 2011 Internship applications are
now open with details at:
These internships are competitive, paid and open to all nationalities.
They are for a fixed period of 10 weeks starting June 13th 2011.
MBARI's Autonomous Systems group is engaged in research efforts to use
advanced Artificial Intelligence (AI) techniques to enable Autonomous
Underwater Vehicles (AUVhttp://www.mbari.org/auv/) to be more adaptive
and self aware of their resource and goal commitments. Our onboard
deliberative system T-REX (http://www.mbari.org/autonomy/TREX/) being
used onboard an AUV is based on the sense-deliberate-act paradigm
synthesizing new mission plans in response to environmental
conditions. T-REX uses a state-of-the-art temporal constraint-based
planner originally developed at NASA and flown on a number of space
missions including the ongoing Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) mission.
All projects are associated with the CANON (http://www.mbari.org/
canon/) program and are research centric.
Potential internship opportunities for 2011 include working on
Constraint-based Planning, Machine Learning and Spatial Statistics.
Potential projects are along the lines of:
1. Automated Planning: Dealing with discrete resources for planning
within the constraint-based planning framework reflecting the
consumables onboard an AUV. Modeling and integrating the use of these
resources within the plans synthesized by TREX is an important problem
for these resource restricted platforms which work in harsh
2. Automated Planning: Using constraint-based temporal planning
techniques using coarse grained plan representation to coordinate
multiple assets (robots, ships, aircraft fly-bys) for oceanographic
3. Machine Learning: Synthesis of multiple Hidden Markov Models (HMMs)
for discovering unstructured and dynamic features in the coastal ocean
is critical to make optimal use of the platform at sea. Currently T-
REX uses only a single model; interrupting plan execution to chase
multiple hypothesis at sea by an AUV is the core of the effort.
4. Machine Learning: Techniques in parameterizing incoming data
streams from heterogenous sources for event response. Such data will
be used for tagging by mixed human and automated mechanisms for
detection triggers of dynamic, episodic and non-deterministic features
in the coastal ocean. Techniques popularized by Amazon's Mechanical
Turk in the general area of Folksonomy will be used for identifying
such features for eventual investigation by autonomous robots.
5. Spatial Statistics: Model building of dynamic ocean features which
incorporate space and time and doing so onboard a resource limited
robot with implications for adaptive sampling.
Highly motivated beginning PhD students with substantial
+ Java, C++ and MATLAB programming skills; this is a must have
+ AI Planning and a background in Constraint Satisfaction
+ Statistical Machine Learning backgrounds
+ Self motivated with good communication skills
and desirous of making a research impact in the ocean sciences are
encouraged to apply. The interns will be expected to go to sea at
least once during the fellowship. Applicants must be registered in a
PhD program. 3 letters of support are necessary. Only applicants with
a focus on AI and Robotics related projects will be considered.
Previous visiting interns have come from MIT (4), Colorado State,
University of Michigan, Strathclyde University (UK), University of
Birmingham (UK), LAAS/Toulouse (France), Univ. of California Santa
Cruz, Univ. of Southern California (2), Univ. Carlos III de Madrid
(Spain) (2), IIT Madras (India) and Heriot-Watt University (UK).
Women and Minorities are particularly encouraged to apply.
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