[robotics-worldwide] [jobs] Ph.D. position on "Swarm exploration with pocket drones" @ TU Delft, the Netherlands

guido_de_croon g.c.h.e.decroon at tudelft.nl
Mon Oct 27 01:37:47 PDT 2014

The Micro Air Vehicle lab of the TU Delft Robotics Institute at Delft
University of Technology, the Netherlands, announces a vacancy for one Ph.D.
student within the project:

"Swarm exploration with pocket drones"

Description of the project:

The main objective of the project is to study and design how a swarm of tiny
unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) can carry out multi-robot exploration of an
unstructured environment (e.g., disaster areas). Unstructured environments
show a high degree of complexity and uncertainty. The tiny UAVs are pocket
drones with a mass in the order of 20 grams and a diameter of ~10 cm. The
small size of the pocket drones entails strict limitations in onboard
energy, sensing, and processing.

The work involves:
1.	Stereo-vision based low-level navigation, formed by simple behaviors
requiring the vision to only process parts of the images.
2.	Construction of directed topological maps for highlevel navigation. 
3.	Decentralized path-integral control, which allows the pocket drones to
learn efficient swarm exploration in the presence of significant

The project is funded by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific
Research (NWO) and it is a collaboration project between Delft University of
Technology and the SNN Machine Learning group at the Radboud University of
Nijmegen. The supervisors are dr. Guido de Croon (autonomy of small UAVs, TU
Delft), professor Karl Tuyls (swarm intelligence, TU Delft), and professor
Bert Kappen (stochastic optimal control, Radboud University Nijmegen) .

What do we ask?

We are looking for a candidate with an MSc degree in an area such as
Artificial Intelligence, Computer Science, Aerospace Engineering, Robotics,
or a similar field.  Furthermore, programming experience is required,
preferably in C or C++. Previous experience with Unmanned Air Vehicles,
model planes, or robotic systems in general is an asset. The candidate must
have strong analytical skills and must be able to work at the intersection
of several research domains (computer vision, artificial intelligence,
robotics, control). A very good command of the English language is required,
as well as excellent communication skills.

What do we offer?

We offer the opportunity to do scientifically challenging research in a
multi-disciplinary research group. The appointment will be for a period of 4
years. As an employee of the university you will receive a competitive
salary (between approx. EUR 2000 and EUR 2600 gross per month based on a
full-time appointment), as well as excellent secondary benefits in
accordance with the Collective Agreement (CAO) of the Association of
Universities in the Netherlands (VSNU). Assistance with accommodation can be

How to apply?

Submit you application to dr. Guido de Croon (email:
g.c.h.e.decroon at tudelft.nl) before December 1st 2014. Include a cover letter
along with a detailed curriculum vitae, a separate motivation letter stating
why the proposed research topic interests you, electronic copies of
publications (if applicable), the summary of your MSc thesis, your MSc and
BSc course programs and the corresponding grades, names and addresses of two
to three reference persons, and other information that might be relevant to
your application. The project is expected to start on January 1st, 2015.

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