[robotics-worldwide] [jobs] Postdoc - Machine learning for robot movement control

Ludovic Righetti ludovic.righetti at tuebingen.mpg.de
Tue Apr 21 14:37:38 PDT 2015

Postdoc position in machine learning for robot movement control
ERC Starting Grant Project CONT-ACT
Control of contact interactions for robots acting in the world
Movement Generation and Control Group
Max-Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems (Tübingen)

Contact interaction during legged locomotion and manipulation creates
extremely rich and high-dimensional, but structured sensory signals with
complicated temporal patterns. The structure inherent to contact
interaction can be exploited to learn sensory models of interaction that
can be used 1) to automatically synthesize optimal controllers directly
in sensor space and 2) to infer and predict the state of complex
locomotion and manipulation tasks (i.e. robot+observable part of the
world). The successful applicant will conduct research to understand how
high-dimensional sensory information (in particular touch and force
sensing) during contact interaction can be optimally exploited to learn
such models of interactions to achieve both goals using machine learning
and time series analysis techniques.

This research position is part of the ERC Starting Grant Project
CONT-ACT that aims at developing a consistent framework for motion
generation and control centered around contact interactions, where an
efficient use of sensory information drives the development of
high-performance, adaptive and robust planning and control methods.

The ideal candidate is passionate about the problem of creating *truly*
autonomous machines capable of performing complex manipulation and
locomotion tasks in unknown environments. He/she has a strong background
in machine learning or a related field (data representation, time
varying data, model learning, dimensionality reduction, etc) and
understands the challenges specific to robot movement planning and
control. We are looking for ambitious candidates with a strong research
record, a demonstrated experience in leading independent research and
excellent communication and writing skills.

Duration: the initial appointment duration is 1 year (renewable up to 3
Starting Date: June 1st or later
Evaluation of candidates starts on receipt of the applications and will
continue until the position is filled (see
http://www-amd.is.tuebingen.mpg.de/~righetti/website/#openpositions for

For questions please directly contact Ludovic Righetti (ludovic.righetti
AT tuebingen.mpg.de)

Send your CV (highlighting your two most significant publications), a
letter of motivation including a statement of research interests
(limited to 2 pages), the name of 2 referees and a link to your PhD
thesis to ludovic.righetti AT tuebingen.mpg.de. Please send all
documents in PDF format.

The Movement Generation and Control Group
(http://www-amd.is.tuebingen.mpg.de/~righetti/website/) is part of the
Autonomous Motion Department at the Max-Planck Institute for Intelligent
Systems. We offer a unique and very stimulating international research
environment, many collaboration opportunities within the institute with
top researchers in robotics, machine learning and perception as well as
close collaboration opportunities with laboratories around the world.
The candidate will have access to excellent research facilities
including state of the art robotic hardware (in particular a Sarcos
Humanoid Robot and a KUKA-LWR bimanual manipulation platform). The
postdoc position comes with an attractive salary and social benefits.
The working language at MPI-IS is English.

The Max-Planck-Society is one of the world's premier places to conduct
visionary, high-risk, long term, and fundamental research. The Institute
for Intelligent Systems (http://is.tuebingen.mpg.de/) has a strong
interdisciplinary approach to understanding the principles of
perception, action and learning in autonomous systems that successfully
interact with complex environments.

Tübingen is a vibrant city located 30km south of Stuttgart, the capital
of Baden-Württemberg and is often referred as one of the cities with the
highest quality of life in Germany. It is home to one of the most famous
and oldest universities in Germany. Its central location in Europe makes
it easily accessible from most major European cities.

  Ludovic Righetti, Dr. Sc.

  Movement generation and control group
  Autonomous Motion Department
  Max-Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, Germany

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