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Postdoc position Soft Robotics

We are seeking for a postdoc in the area of Soft Robotics. This position is part of 4TU.Federation's Soft Robotics program, which started in 2018. Within this …

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Arbeidsvoorwaarden

Standplaats:
de Rondom, Eindhoven, Noord-Brabant
Dienstverband:
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
38 uur
Opleidingsniveau:
Postdoctoraal

Functieomschrijving

We are seeking for a postdoc in the area of Soft Robotics. This position is part of 4TU.Federation's Soft Robotics program, which started in 2018. Within this program, the Netherlands' four universities of technology (TU Delft, TU Eindhoven, University of Twente and Wageningen University) work together closely to make a significant impact on social challenges in the long term.

Robots that will daily operate in human environments, will need a 'soft touch'. The robots we know from industrial production, are extremely precise and fast, but very rigid as well. For physical and safe contact with people, or for handling vulnerable food products, they don't perform well. The '4TU Soft Robotics' program chooses a nature-inspired approach: the grip of a tree frog and the flexible arm of a cuttlefish (www.dutchsoftrobotics.nl). For this, knowledge of biology, fully new control systems, and innovative robot design strategies go hand in hand. The partners of the technical universities strengthen each other in this.

Soft robotics is a very young and promising field and offers an exciting, radically different approach to operate safely and reliably in human-inhabited environments. Our ambition is to take the lead in realizing the next generation of soft robotic systems through the integrated design of affordable flexible hardware, power-efficient lightweight actuators, and efficient and intuitive control. Inspired by biology, new transduction principles and geometries will be explored, characterized by flexible geometries of materials with imperfect and anisotropic properties. Our vision embraces the integrated design of soft robots, including desirable mechanical properties, embedded sensing, and actuation, modeling, and control. From this vision, many scientific challenges arise in the areas of statics, dynamics and materials and transducers science for which you will take the lead in progressing these fields.

For example, the flexibility of soft robots poses challenges on its modelling and control: the models have to be quite accurate to mimic flexible nature of the robots, and at the same time the model complexity can hamper the application of the control design methods; so to find a reasonable trade-off between the model accuracy and its applicability for control is one of the core research questions posed. A flexible structure with embedded transduction is so dissimilar to the regular transducers mounted on stiff robots, that for both the description and understanding of the transducers as well as for their use in soft robotic control schemes, we will have to develop new theoretical and practical (bio-inspired) control frameworks.

You will be working in a team of top scientists and you will have the opportunity to carry out excellent research, set up and contribute to educational programs and work on concrete solutions within our broad network of partners in policy and practice. The 4TU Soft Robotics program offers prospective candidates excellent opportunities to extend their networks with academic and societal partners.

As a postdoc you will enhance the cooperation between the academic partners involved in the Soft Robotics 4TU program via application of developed design techniques to the emerging use cases from the following areas: modern manufacturing systems, health care, soft (cooperative) robots for agriculture.

About the group
In the section Dynamics and Control research focuses on the modeling, analysis and control of mechanical systems in a broad sense. This encompasses typical areas as mechatronics, modern vehicle control and last but not least automation of mechanical systems. The latter subject is nowadays a key driver for research in robotics. Besides various more industrial robotic applications in industry and agriculture, an important field is formed by robots for care and for cure. Though very different in usage, both directions have great potential for the future of mankind. A recent very relevant development in robotics for care and cure is framed as soft robotics where because of the very nature of a soft robot, human-robot interaction and safety is of primal importance.

Functie-eisen

  • PhD in (soft)robotics, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, general engineering, human-technology interaction, human movement sciences, or any related program or comparable domain.
  • An excellent publication record covering at least one of the following areas: (soft)robotics, material science, additive manufacturing or sensors, and actuators, haptics.
  • Be a good collaborator who is able to combine and extend current knowledge and know-how to the domains within the program.
  • A strong interest in (soft)robotics is needed, as well as the willingness to look beyond the borders of his or her own discipline and a strong motivation to work in a multidisciplinary project.
  • Ability to conduct high quality academic research, demonstrated for instance by a relevant PhD thesis and/or publication(s).
  • Ability to teach, shown by experience or assistance in teaching and positive evaluations of these teaching efforts.
  • Programming/modelling skills and excellent mastering of the English language, good communication and leadership skills are required. Note that there is no Dutch language requirement.

Conditions

  • A meaningful job in a dynamic and ambitious university with the possibility to present your work at international conferences.
  • A full-time employment for 2 years.
  • You will have free access to high-quality training programs on general skills, didactics and topics related to research and valorization.
  • A gross monthly salary and benefits in accordance with the Collective Labor Agreement for Dutch Universities.
  • A broad package of fringe benefits (including an excellent technical infrastructure, moving expenses, and savings schemes).
  • Family-friendly initiatives are in place, such as an international spouse program, and excellent on-campus children day care and sports facilities.

Additional information

More information

Do you recognize yourself in this profile and would you like to know more?
Please contact dr.ir. I.A. Kuling, i.a.kuling[at]tue.nl.

For information about terms of employment, click here.

Please visit www.tue.nl/jobs to find out more about working at TU/e!

Application

We invite you to submit a complete application by using the 'apply now'-button on this page. The application should include a:
  • Cover letter in which you describe your motivation and qualifications for the position.
  • Curriculum vitae, including a list of your publications and the contact information of three references.
  • List of five self-selected 'best publications'.

We look forward to your application and will screen it as soon as we have received it. Screening will continue until the position has been filled.