[robotics-worldwide] PhD in Planning and cooperative navigation of robot teams in navegability maps at University of Zaragoza

Luis Montano montano at unizar.es
Thu Aug 29 02:13:46 PDT 2013

The Perception Robotics and Real Time group at the I3A Institute at 
Universidad de Zaragoza in Spain, is looking for a highly qualified PhD 
candidate for the project "Teams of robots for logistics, maintenance 
and environment monitoring" in the area of Motion planning for 
multi-robot teams.  A 4 years position, 16440EUR/year before taxes.

Research will address the problem of planning for cooperative navigation 
of multi-robot teams in navegability maps for real applications. The 
classical planning approaches of navigation in uncertain maps, which 
only represent the geometric uncertainty of the environment, will be 
extended to multi-robot planning in maps that, in addition to the 
occupation of static and dynamic obstacles with uncertainty will reflect 
other information such as: maps of communications in areas of signal 
coverage to maintain a given Quality of Service (QoS); information about 
the probability of finding objects or places relevant for the mission 
that will guide the trajectoryplanningavoiding areas where it is 
unlikely to find them; and coverage information of DGPS. A model 
representing that heterogeneous information will be developed, which 
will be applied for coordinated motion planning a making decisions with 
minimal risk and ensuring communications connectivity within the robot 


- Master degree in engineering, computer science, physics, or mathematics.
- European work permit (compulsory to sign the contract)
- Motivation to work in an interdisciplinary project and international 
- Background in at least one of the following areas:
--- Robot motion planning and navigation
--- Multi-robot teams
--- Robotics perception
--- Skills in software development, Matlab, C++, C

Starting Nov13-Feb14

Please send your application to: teloman.phd.position at gmail.com 
<mailto:svmap.phd.position at gmail.com>

Deadline for the application: 5 September 2013

Application should include:
- Statement of motivation and relevant experience
- Curriculum vitae
- Copies of university certificates
- List of attended classes and grades
- Names and addresses of two references


Project summary

Teams of robots for logistics, maintenance and environment 

The research project involves deployment and actuation techniques of a 
multi-robot team. It is necessary to address problems of task planning 
and allocation, coordinated execution of the navigation, perception of 
the environment from multiple views from each of the team members, 
maintaining communication between all system components -- robots, 
infrastructure, bridges, monitoring equipment, etc. This project will 
address new goals and challenges for research and their application in 
real, large and complex scenarios. The research objectives are:

/- Perception, learning and monitoring of the environment./To obtain a 
robust description of the type of environments where the robots are 
going to work, multisensor odometry techniques will be developed, which 
will integrate various devices onboard the robots (odometry, inertial 
sensors, 2D and 3D rangefinders, 3D vision, DGPS, communications). The 
integrated information will be used for the construction of navigability 
maps that provide geometrical, topological and semantic information, 
quality and restrictions on communications, and information about DGPS 
coverage. Monitoring aspects include both, objects and people, and 
environment variables (temperature, humidity, etc). Centralized and 
distributed algorithms will be developed for coordinating and 
integrating different partial perceptions provided by each robot in the 

/- Planning, navigation and multi-robot control./Task planning and 
allocation take into account restrictions contained in various types of 
navigation maps and carried out according to various criteria (time, 
total distance, latency or average cost per task), keeping in any case 
the safety, the communications connectivity and a robust representation 
of the environment. To execute the plans, navigation techniques will be 
developed coordinating robots in dynamic environments in which people or 
other vehicles can share the scenario. The navigation techniques will 
allow the robot compliance with the changing environment, in which 
people or other vehicles can share the scenario with robots, monitored 
by the perception systems.

/- Communications/. This module will address the development of 
propagation models of the interest signals (communications and DGPS) for 
the construction of navigability maps. This modeling is also considered 
essential for bandwidth restriction imposed by an ad-hoc multi-hop 
wireless real-time network, which is composed of several robots and 
sensor nodes or bridges. In this sense we will investigate new protocols 
for increasing the bandwidth (e.g. TDMA, spatial reuse) and new 
algorithms that optimize the information flow.

For the evaluation of the techniques, two types of application scenarios 
have been selected, each of which presents different problems to be 
solved: (1) logistics and transportation in indoor and outdoor scenarios 
(industrial parks, mines), in which the problems to solve focus on 
building robust models of the environment, task planning and allocation 
for the team of robots and coordinated navigation with communications; 
(2) the maintenance and monitoring of road tunnels, in which the 
deployment of robots, communication nodes and sensors must be specially 
considered taking into account the restrictions on communications 

Main researcher of the Project: José Luis Villarroel
PhD advisor: Luis Montano
Research team: C.Sagüés, G. López-Nicolás, J.A. Cuchí, N. Ayuso, A. 
Mosteo, D. Tardioli, A.C. Murillo, A. Romeo, E. Montijano, C. Rizzo, M. 
Aranda, J. Cortés (U. California), S. Martínez (U. California), R. Alami 
(LAAS-CNRS, France), L. Almeida (U. Porto)


Robotics, Perception, and Real-Time Group
Departamento de Informatica e Ingenieria de Sistemas
Escuela de Ingeniería y Arquitectura
Instituto de Investigación en Ingeniería de Aragón
Universidad de Zaragoza
Edificio Ada Byron, María de Luna, 1
E-50018 Zaragoza, Spain

Tel: (+34) 976 76 19 54
Fax: (+34) 976 76 19 14
E-mail: montano at unizar.es


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