ETH Zurich, Switzerland is inviting applicants to apply for a PhD position in mechanical engineering. This position is open until filled.
You conceive and validate model-based controllers and reinforcement learning techniques that can perform difficult tasks requiring interaction with a robot’s surroundings. You advance the state of the art of the current modeling approaches used in the dynamic closed-loop control of soft continuum robots. With your approach, you encapsulate non-linear deformations of hyperelastic materials in real-time. Your model-based controllers become basic building blocks in a reinforcement learning framework. Your self-developed frameworks allow soft robots to learn advanced shapeshifting and autonomous manipulation capabilities for dexterous tasks. You continuously design, simulate, and test your control and learning algorithms on your deformable robots so that they dexterously interact with an inherently deformable world. You develop algorithms that make soft robots move in surprisingly dexterous ways. Your system modeling and control approach will be design-agnostic and user-friendly to facilitate broad adoption in the robotics community. You will create an open-source control and learning framework for soft robots. The development of such a framework will be facilitated through active collaborations with other researchers working on numerical simulations of physical systems such as SOFA and on toolboxes for dynamical systems modeling such as Drake.
You are extremely curious, highly driven, greatly independent, and you want to make a real difference with your research. Through your prior experiences, you have shown your understanding in: A foundational understanding of control and learning methods is essential for the successful completion of this proposed doctoral research program. It would be greatly advantageous if you are already proficient in C++ and Python. You will be able to collaborate with other research labs, and you will have access to support from R&D experts, scientists, engineers, and doctoral students with background in mechanical engineering, electrical engineering and computer science.
ETH Zurich is one of the world’s leading universities specialising in science and technology. We are renowned for our excellent education, cutting-edge fundamental research and direct transfer of new knowledge into society. Over 30,000 people from more than 120 countries find our university to be a place that promotes independent thinking and an environment that inspires excellence. Located in the heart of Europe, yet forging connections all over the world, we work together to develop solutions for the global challenges of today and tomorrow.
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