[robotics-worldwide] [jobs] Postdoctoral fellows within autonomous navigation or applications for robots in agriculture

Pål Johan From pal.johan.from at nmbu.no
Sat Dec 21 13:22:50 PST 2019

The Faculty of Science and Technology at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU) has vacant 2-3 year positions as postdoctoral
fellow within autonomous navigation or applications for robots in the agricultural domain.

To apply, click on “Apply this position” on https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__www.jobbnorge.no_en_available-2Djobs_job_180349_postdoctoral-2Dfellow-2Dwithin-2Dautonomous-2Dnavigation-2Dor-2Dapplications-2Dfor-2Drobots-2Din-2Dagriculture&d=DwIGaQ&c=clK7kQUTWtAVEOVIgvi0NU5BOUHhpN0H8p7CSfnc_gI&r=0w3solp5fswiyWF2RL6rSs8MCeFamFEPafDTOhgTfYI&m=f2bHB6YcnTrcPI4YNDMnfQCVwGWWxyrkB6TSWr4Hobk&s=WArZ5CHpd-2U0hm5k0ou9wJg1UBfxrUujHz0xAzbdEg&e= 

We are looking for postdoctoral fellows in autonomous navigation and applications for robots in the agricultural domain. Applicants to the
positions must state which of these two areas is of interest.

1. Autonomous navigation
In order to exploit the great potential of robots in agriculture, these robots rely on accurate information on their own position and their
surroundings. To be successful, agricultural robots must cope with challenging topology and dynamic obstacles. The robots must also be
capable of seamless indoor-outdoor navigation. Under these conditions, reliable and accurate localization cannot be achieved with satellitebased
systems alone, so one will have to also incorporate data from other sensors such as e.g.: inertial sensors, cameras, laser scanners and
ultra-wideband radars.
In addition, these robots need to be equipped with the sufficient level of autonomy to be able to operate safely and reliably in a complex and
dynamic environment. Task allocation and scheduling tasks for one or multiple robots is an important research topic. The robots need to operate
in areas where humans and animals have access, and therefore need to do this in a safe way.

2. Applications
Several tasks in agriculture require precise manipulation in a complex and unstructured environment. This calls for new tool design, new control
schemes and advanced machine vision to be implemented. We are looking for candidates who have experience in developing precision tools for
the agricultural domain, such as harvesters, precision weeders and seeders, or similar systems.
The faculty has a robotic setup that will be made available to the candidate. It is expected that the candidate uses this equipment to verify the
performance of the suggested navigation systems with real scenarios. The Thorvald robot to be used in the experiments is developed at NMBU.
The candidate will have the opportunity to test the developed methodology on a wide variety of applications, as the robot is used by several
different departments at the university. The university currently has several robots available for experiments and testing. The candidate will also
have access to the research farm at the university.

Main tasks
The main purpose of the post-doctoral position is to qualify for work in high-level scientific positions. A PhD degree is required.

1. Autonomous navigation
The main task of the candidate will be to implement safe and robust autonomy in the agricultural environment, and in particular for robots that
operate both in the indoor and outdoor domain. The main activities will be related to one or more of the following topics:

  *   Safe and robust navigation in the agricultural environment. This includes both indoor (without, or with poor GNSS coverage) and outdoor environment.
  *   Obstacle avoidance in a dynamic environment.
  *   Safety, in particular recognition of dangerous situations for the robot and its environment.
  *   Optimal trajectory planning.
  *   Human-robot interaction.
  *   Certification and proven robustness.
  *   System integration.

2. Applications
The main task of the candidate will be to implement efficient and robust manipulation in the agricultural environment. The main activities will be
related to one or more of the following topics:

  *   Gripper design
  *   Algorithms for grasping in an unstructured environment
  *   Trajectory planning
  *   Machine vision
  *   Deep learning
  *   AI

Required Academic qualifications

  *   PhD in Engineering Cybernetics, Robotics, Control, or similar.
  *   Proficiency in mathematical modeling, control and statistical methods.
  *   Hands-on experience from implementing algorithms on real systems.
The following experiences and skills will be emphasized:

  *   Experience with implementing Kalman filters, particle filters, or similar.
  *   Experience with Robot design and prototyping.
  *   Experience with Navigation algorithms such as waypoint navigation, SLAM, etc.
  *   Experience from large research projects or industry.
  *   Experience with Machine vision.
  *   Excellent programming skills, ROS, C/C++, Python
Pål Johan From, Ph.D.
Head of Robotics Group
Faculty of Sciences and Technology
Norwegian University of Life Science
Postbox 5003
1432 Ås

tel: +47 67231603
cel: +47 90690932
e-mail: pafr at nmbu.no<mailto:pafr at nmbu.no>

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