[robotics-worldwide] Postdoc Position: Marine Robotics and AI, MBARI

Kanna Rajan Kanna.Rajan at mbari.org
Tue Oct 2 10:41:43 PDT 2012

The Autonomous System group at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) invites applications for 1 postdoc position. 

MBARI (http://www.mbari.org)  is a private non-profit Oceanographic research institute located in Moss Landing, California, in the heart of the  largest marine sanctuary in the United States, just outside Silicon Valley. The institute is an inter-disciplinary research institution guided by a strong peer relationship between scientists, engineers and marine operations staff. MBARI pioneered the use of Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs http://www.mbari.org/dmo/vessels_vehicles/tiburon/tiburon.html) and Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs http://www.mbari.org/auv/default.htm) for deep ocean research and continues to be at the cutting edge of marine robotics, marine sensor development, ocean chemistry, marine geology, micro-biology and ecology. The position is highly competitive.

Research Focus:

The Autonomous Systems group is uniquely placed as being the only Artificial Intelligence group within an operational oceanographic setting anywhere. The focus of the groups effort is in 
using computational methods in AI in dealing with vehicle adaptation, sampling and control with emphasis in automated reasoning for embodied robust intelligence for autonomous platforms including Automated Planning/Execution, Constraint-Based Reasoning and Machine Learning. The key emphasis will be in multi-vehicle coordination and control for heterogenous vehicles (underwater, surface and aerial) in the coastal ocean and evaluating and understanding the mix of onboard and onshore autonomy with human in-the-loop.

Research Environment:

The Autonomous Systems group was established in 2005 by researchers from NASA with extensive background in commanding spacecraft including the twin Mars Rovers Spirit and Opportunity. A strong inter-disciplinary effort with biological oceanographers at MBARI and others outside has driven the design and deployment of a hybrid executive which enables an AUV to adaptively sample the environment using Planning and Machine Learning techniques to inform dynamic in-situ behavior. Publishing in peer-reviewed conferences and journals in AI, Robotics and the Ocean Sciences and interacting with scientists in the fields of biology, chemistry, ecology, genetics, ocean physics, marine robotics is an important aspect of the research effort as is going to sea. The group collaborates with AI and Robotics researchers in academia within the US and Europe and hosts visiting graduate students and researchers from within the US, Europe and Asia.

Key topic areas of interest for this position are:

1. Multi-vehicle control in communication encumbered settings
2. Automated Planning and Execution
3. Machine Learning for dynamic oceanographic features
4. Constraint-based Reasoning
5. Constraint-based Plan visualization

Applicants are encouraged to communicate with the PI (kanna.rajan at mbari.org) for project feasibility and relevance to ongoing MBARI research. Women and minorities are strongly encouraged to apply. Details of the application process are at http://www.mbari.org/oed/jobs/Postdocs_2013.html. The deadline for applications is Wednesday December 12th 2012.

Autonomous System group Web pages: http://www.mbari.org/autonomy/index.htm
Autonomy Publications: http://www.mbari.org/autonomy/Publications/index.htm
MBARI Strategic Plan: http://www.mbari.org/about/sp/MBARI_Strategic_Plan_2011.pdf

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