[robotics-worldwide] [jobs] PostDoc position in cooperative Sensor-based Control and Localization for Multi-Robot Systems

Paolo Robuffo Giordano paolo.robuffo_giordano at irisa.fr
Tue Apr 14 05:48:14 PDT 2015

The Lagadic group at Inria/Irisa Rennes, France


has an *open PostDoc position* in the field of *cooperative sensor-based 
control and localization for multi-robot systems*.

*********** DESCRIPTION OF THE ACTIVITIES ***********

Multi-robot applications are attracting a steadily growing interest in 
the robotics community based on the idea that proper coordination of 
many simple robots can lead to the fulfillment of arbitrarily complex 
tasks in a robust (to single robot failures) and highly flexible way. 
Teams of multiple robots can take advantage of their number to perform, 
for example, complex manipulation and assembly tasks, or to obtain rich 
spatial awareness by suitably distributing themselves in the 
environment. Autonomous search and rescue, firefighting, exploration and 
intervention in dangerous or inaccessible areas are just some of the 
most promising multi-robot applications.

Despite the various theoretical and technical advancements in the field, 
however, the number of challenges that have to be overcome for actually 
deploying a team of fully autonomous flying robots in an unstructured 
environment is still large. For instance, nowadays most multi-robot 
applications heavily exploit *highly structured/centralized facilities* 
(e.g., indoor visual tracking systems, heavy use of GPS-enabled 
environments, presence of ground stations in charge of controlling the 
whole mission and collecting all the data, and so on). These facilities 
clearly help during the developing and testing phases, and can also be 
suitable for specific scenarios (like tasks in well-defined indoor 
factory floors). However, it is also clear that much more flexible 
solutions should be devised for actually operating in *possibly 
unstructured, unknown, “un-prepared” environments* without the 
possibility of resorting to “external aids” besides the team own skills.

The goal of this PostDoc is to advance the state-of-the-art by 
contributing to the conception, development and actual testing of novel 
algorithms for allowing a group of multiple robots to autonomously 
navigate in unknown, unstructured and cluttered environments by solely 
resorting to their *"local skills"*, that is, *local onboard sensing* 
(mainly vision) and *local communication*. Quadrotor UAVs equipped with 
onboard cameras, IMUs and local communication capabilities will be the 
target robotic platform for all algorithms. A rough list of possible 
topics envisaged during the Postdoc is as follows:

- decentralized formation control from visual feedback 
(*bearing-formation control*) for a group of quadrotor UAVs

- decentralized localization from visual feedback 
(*bearing-localization*) for a group of quadrotor UAVs

- exploitation of graph theoretical tools (e.g., *connectivity* and 
*bearing-rigidity*) for cooperatively estimating global quantities of 
interest (e.g., common inertial reference frame, relative pose of the 
agents in the group)

- robustness against sensor limitations (e.g., limited camera fov, 

- robustness against delays, noise, packet losses and link failures

- anonymity and correspondence-less cooperative control and estimation

The initial PostDoc duration is *12 months* but with the possibility of 
extending it in case of mutual interest.

*********** CANDIDATES' EXPECTED PROFILE ***********

The ideal candidate is expected to have a strong background in the field 
of robotics, estimation and control with a focus on multi-robot 
formation control and cooperative localization and, in general, 
familiarity with the relevant multi-robot and multi-agent literature. 
Previous experience in visual-based control/estimation is a plus. 
Previous experience with quadrotor UAVs is a plus but not strictly required.

The candidate is expected to contribute mostly on the algorithmic side 
(conception, analysis and design of cooperative formation 
control/localization schemes from onboard measurements). However, an 
implementation on the quadrotor platforms available in the group is also 
welcome. Co-supervision of the PhD students involved in the project is 
also welcome.

The candidate should be knowledgeable about C/C++, ROS and 
matlab/simulink. Scientific curiosity, large autonomy and ability to 
work independently are also expected. A PhD degree in computer science, 
engineering, applied mathematics (or related fields) is required.

*********** SALARY ***********

Full-time position paid according to French salary schemes.

***********  ENVIRONMENT ***********

The Lagadic group, headed by Francois Chaumette,


is internationally recognized for its scientific activity as well as for 
technology transfer experiences in the field of visual tracking, visual 
servoing, computer vision and sensor-based control for robotics 
applications. The facilities available in the group include three 6-dof 
manipulator arms, a pioneer indoor mobile robot, a state-of-the-art 
human-size humanoid robot (Romeo), a fleet of quadrotor UAVs, and an 
indoor large testing arena instrumented with Vicon.

The candidates will be under the supervision of *Dr. Paolo Robuffo Giordano*


and will work in close collaboration with other members of the Lagadic 
group involved in the project.

The Lagadic group is part of the Inria/Irisa lab that spreads its 
activities in 30 research teams working in computer science, signal 
processing, and control. It involves about 650 people, including 120 
professors and assistant professors, 100 full-time researchers, 80 
administrative staff, and 250 PhD students.

***********  HOW TO APPLY  ***********

Interested candidates must send to Dr. Paolo Robuffo Giordano (prg [at] 
irisa.fr) the following material:
- motivation letter
- detailed CV
- name of at least two referees
- any relevant information for proving a good match with the PostDoc 
description and expected profile of the candidates

The positions will remain open until a satisfactory candidate will be found.

Dr. Paolo Robuffo Giordano

Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS)
Lagadic Team, Irisa and Inria Bretagne Atlantique
Campus Universitaire de Beaulieu
35042 Rennes cedex, France
Tel: +33 (0)2 99842545
Fax: +33 (0)2 99847171
Email: prg at irisa.fr
Website: http://www.irisa.fr/lagadic/team/Paolo.Robuffo_Giordano.html
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/MPIRobotics

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