[robotics-worldwide] [jobs] Postdoc position Motion cues of an electric wheelchair simulator in virtual reality at IRISA/Inria Rennes – France

Ronan Le Breton Ronan.Le-Breton at insa-rennes.fr
Tue Apr 9 01:49:02 PDT 2019

The Rainbow Team at IRISA/Inria Rennes – France has an open position for a 
post-doc :

Keywords: Power wheelchair simulator, Virtual Reality, Physics engine, 
motion cues, haptics, user tests


The ADAPT project, co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund as 
part of the INTERREG VA France (Channel) England program, began in January 
2017 and will end in January 2021. The aim of the project is to design and 
to develop assistive devices for empowering disabled people through 
robotics. INSA Rennes, an engineering school, is involved in the ADAPT 
project through 3 research units: IRISA-IETR-LGCGM. IRISA (Rainbow team) is 
specialized in computer vision and robotics. IETR (VAADER team) works on the 
design of embedded systems for signal processing. LGCGM (ECSR team) carries 
out work in mechanical processes and systems.
As part of the ADAPT project and through past collaborations, in particular 
with the Pôle Saint Hélier , a rehabilitation center in Rennes, INSA teams 
have developed a smart powered wheelchair (PW) that compensates user 
disabilities by using driving assistance technologies. In parallel, for an 
immersive experience of the smart PW, a virtual reality (VR) driving 
simulator has been developed. This simulator includes immersive visual 
rendering capabilities (immersive room / VR headset), interfaces compatible 
with those of the PW and a haptic platform for replicating wheelchair 

Post-doctoral subject

The goal of the post-doctoral work is directly linked to the wheelchair 
simulator, and will be in particular dedicated to motion cues. The idea is 
to combine software development for Virtual Reality (based on Robot 
Operating System, Unity 3D,…) add a 4 degrees of freedom motion platform (1 
translation and 3 rotations).
Within the project team working on the simulator, the researcher will have 
to propose solutions to increase the Sense of Presence felt by the user, and 
to prevent from cybersickness for different indoor/outdoor scenarios:
• Design of a new physics engine to replicate motion dynamics of a powered 
wheelchair, such as collisions, bumps, floor irregularities, caster wheel 
• Design of motion cues and haptics:
o the 4 degrees of freedom should be properly used to match motion cues;
o the behavior of the platform should be finely tuned and adapted to each 
user with disabilities.

Skill / Requirements

The applicant should have a strong interest in working in a 
multidisciplinary team, including the medical staff of the rehabilitation 
center of Pôle Saint Hélier. Ideally, she/he has an experience in VR and/or 
robotics domains:
• Simulation and/or motion platform control;
• C/C++ coding;
• Familiarity with ROS;
• Familiarity with system dynamics and mechanics is considered as an asset.


The position is full-time for 1 year. Salary : around 2200€/month (net 
Localisation : IRISA / INSA de Rennes – Campus de Beaulieu – Rainbow team

To apply

Applications consist of a cover letter describing how your research 
experience is relevant to the position and a resume sent to 
ronan.le-breton at insa-rennes.fr,  sylvain.guegan at insa-rennes.fr  and 
marie.babel at irisa.fr.

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