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(Post)doctoral project: Rational selection of exploration strategies for robotic manipulation in partially observable, real-world environments

The Robotics and Biology Laboratory in cooperation with the cluster of excellence - Science of Intelligence - has an immediate opening! 


Position: (Post)-Doctoral Researcher
Topic: Rational selection of exploration strategies for robotic manipulation in partially observable, real-world environments

General Information
Starting dates: Summer / Fall 2020
Duration: 3 years 
Salary level: TV-L 13, 100% 
Application deadline: 29.11.2019 


About the Research Project
How do people, when faced with a cognitive or behavioral task, select strategies that allow them to solve the task in a manner that matches their available resources? To address this question, the project will investigate how organisms infer the anticipated accuracy and costs associated with candidate strategies and how, when choosing from among the toolbox of available strategies, the consideration of the implementation costs is attuned to the resources that are available to the organism. These questions will be investigated both for strategies for decision making under risk and for exploration strategies, and both with human and robot participants.


About the specific (Post)Doctoral Project
Robots (just like biological agents) operating in partially unknown environments must be able to acquire information about the world from their own interactions. In this project, we will investigate strategies for exploration of unknown environments for knowledge acquisition and problem solving. We will also investigate how a robot should choose between strategies based on characteristics of the task and the environment. The strategies themselves and the meta-strategy to switch between them must appropriately balance cost against task success, given uncertain knowledge about the environment. The project will employ state-of-the-art machine learning, such as particular differentiable programming, to represent and learn strategies and meta-strategies. The successful candidate will work together with cognitive scientists and psychologists as well as behavioral ecologists to exploit insights from humans and animals solving similar tasks. At the same time, experimental results from robots will be used to inform human and animal experiments in the other disciplines.

Desired Skills 

  • MS degree in computer science or similar field
  • Research experience in robotics and machine learning required
  • Research experience in computer vision and/or control desired
  • Basic knowledge in cognitive science and psychology is a plus
  • Interest in interdisciplinary research in the context of the Cluster of Excellence “Science of Intelligence”
  • Excellent software engineering and programming skills in C++
  • Excellent English writing and communication skills

 

About Berlin 
Berlin is a thriving center for science, culture, politics, and media right in the middle of Europe. Berlin is the most populous city in Germany, but through its many parks, forests, and lakes within the city limits, it provides a quality of life that is quite unique among large cities in the world. At the same time, the cost of living is very low. Berlin is home to three high-quality universities and many academic, governmental, and industrial research organizations. 
Wikipedia about Berlin: "The metropolis is home to world-renowned universities, research institutes, sporting events, orchestras, museums and personalities. Berlin's urban landscape and historical legacy has made it a popular setting for international film productions. The city is recognized for its festivals, diverse architecture, nightlife, contemporary arts and a high quality of living. Berlin has evolved into a global focal point for young individuals and artists attracted by a liberal lifestyle and modern zeitgeist." 


How to Apply 
Applications should be submitted via softgarden. Follow the following link to conduct your application: https://scioi.softgarden.io/job/5318679?l=en

Doctoral project: Online Learning of Constrained Manipulation from Corrective and Explorative Demonstrations

The Robotics and Biology Laboratory in cooperation with the cluster of excellence - Science of Intelligence - has an immediate opening! 


Position: Ph.D. student 
Topic: Online Learning of Constrained Manipulation from Corrective and Explorative Demonstrations

General Information
Starting dates: Summer / Fall 2020
Duration: 3 years 
Salary level: TV-L 13, 100% 
Application deadline: 29.11.2019 


About the Research 

Contact-rich manipulation tasks of articulated objects, such as the opening and closing of door latches, still pose significant challenges for the state of the art in robot manipulation. This project will extract manipulation strategies from human demonstrations through kinesthetic teaching. This project will develop an innovative approach to Learning from Demonstration that learns robust policies from few, yet diverse demonstrations. The resulting data will give rise to general manipulation strategies based on techniques from machine learning. Effectively, the acquired data acts as a prior for the (deep) learning methods employed for policy generation. The goal is to produce a means of programming a robot system by merging data and learning to produce robust, complex, and general contact-rich manipulation. The project is funded by the cluster of excellence - Science of Intelligence.


Desired Skills 

  • MSc degree in com­puter sci­ence or sim­ilar field
  • Research exper­i­ence in robot­ics, machine learn­ing, com­puter vis­ion, and/or con­trol
  • Exper­i­ence in Learn­ing from Demon­stra­tion and force con­trol desir­able
  • Exper­i­ence in apply­ing (deep) learn­ing to con­trol prob­lems desir­able
  • Interest in inter­dis­cip­lin­ary research in the con­text of the Cen­ter of Excel­lence “Sci­ence of Intel­li­gence”
  • Excel­lent soft­ware engin­eer­ing and pro­gram­ming skills in C++
  • Excel­lent Eng­lish writ­ing and com­mu­nic­a­tion skills

 

About Berlin 
Berlin is a thriving center for science, culture, politics, and media right in the middle of Europe. Berlin is the most populous city in Germany, but through its many parks, forests, and lakes within the city limits, it provides a quality of life that is quite unique among large cities in the world. At the same time, the cost of living is very low. Berlin is home to three high-quality universities and many academic, governmental, and industrial research organizations. 
Wikipedia about Berlin: "The metropolis is home to world-renowned universities, research institutes, sporting events, orchestras, museums and personalities. Berlin's urban landscape and historical legacy has made it a popular setting for international film productions. The city is recognized for its festivals, diverse architecture, nightlife, contemporary arts and a high quality of living. Berlin has evolved into a global focal point for young individuals and artists attracted by a liberal lifestyle and modern zeitgeist." 


How to Apply 
Applications should be submitted via softgarden. Follow the following link to conduct your application: https://scioi.softgarden.io/job/5319029?l=en

Technical Support

Position: Tech­nical Sup­port - salary grade E11 TV-L Ber­liner Hoch­schu­len

Reference: IV-367/19 (please include this with your application!)

Work­ing field:

  • Deve­lop­ment of com­plex mecha­tro­nic sys­tems;
  • Con­cep­tion, con­struc­tion, imple­men­ta­tion and eva­lua­tion of expe­ri­ments with rese­arch robots;
  • Crea­tion of cir­cuit and prin­ted cir­cuit board designs;
  • Setup and pro­gramming of micro­con­trol­lers;
  • Con­cep­tual plan­ning and tech­ni­cal com­pi­la­tion of labo­ra­to­ries and expe­ri­men­tal set-ups;
  • Design and pro­duc­tion of 3D-prin­ted parts;
  • Imple­men­ta­tion of safety regu­la­ti­ons;
  • Inter­face to the infra­st­ruc­ture of the Excel­lence Clus­ter Science of Intelligence

Require­ments:

  • Tech­nical edu­ca­tion (suc­cess­fully com­pleted degree qual­i­fy­ing for entry into the upper grade of civil ser­vice resp. into the equi­val­ent level of qual­i­fic­a­tion [FH-Dip­lom, BSc in the fields of Com­puter Sci­ence or Com­puter Engin­eer­ing]) or employ­ees with equal abil­it­ies and long­stand­ing exper­i­ence;
  • Abil­ity and exper­i­ence in work­ing with and the devel­op­ment of mechat­ronic sys­tems (robot­ics, elec­tron­ics, mech­an­ics);
  • Very good pro­gram­ming skills in the lan­guages C++, Java, Python, PHP;
  • Good know­ledge of CMS sys­tems;
  • Know­ledge of CAD is an advant­age;
  • Very good Ger­man and Eng­lish skills required


For more inform­a­tion please con­tact  or call +49 (0)30 314 73110.

How to ap­ply:

Please send your applic­a­tion with the ref­er­ence num­ber and the usual doc­u­ments prefer­ably by email in a single pdf file with a max. size of 10 MB to  or in writ­ing to Tech­nis­che Uni­versität Ber­lin - Der Präsid­ent - Fak­ultät IV, Insti­tut für Tech­nis­che Inform­atik und Mik­roelektronik, FG Robot­ics and Bio­logy Labor­at­ory, Prof. Dr. Brock, Sekr. MAR 5-1, March­straße 23, 10587 Ber­lin.


To ensure equal oppor­tun­it­ies between women and men, applic­a­tions by women with the required qual­i­fic­a­tions are expli­citly desired. Qual­i­fied indi­vidu­als with dis­ab­il­it­ies will be favored. The TU Ber­lin val­ues the diversity of its mem­bers and is com­mit­ted to the goals of equal oppor­tun­it­ies.

Please send cop­ies only. Ori­ginal doc­u­ments will not be returned.

For further information, please see the official posting

Computational Biology (student assistant)

Position: Student research assistant (only for students of Universities in Berlin)
Reference: 3434 T 80/18 
(please include this with your application!)

Topic: Protein structure prediction

 

The Robotics and Biology Lab conducts innovative research in protein structure prediction and protein flexibility. We are currently looking for motivated students that support our effort in entering the 12th community-wide experiment on the Critical Assessment on Protein Structure prediction (CASP http://predictioncenter.org).

The successful applicant will be involved in developing and implementing a novel protein structure prediction framework. We offer the opportunity to become part of a team that conducts cutting-edge research in structure prediction.

 

Required skills:

  • Strong programming skills in python
  • Excellent English
  • Experience with C/C++ and/or experience with programming of large dedicated compute clusters (HPC) is a plus
  • Successful completion of a course offered by RBO (e.g. Robotics: Fundamentals, Robotics, or Computational Biology)

 

Familiarity with one of the following research areas is helpful but not required:

  • Computational Biology
  • Bioinformatics
  • Machine Learning
  • Robotics

 

Please email your application, including cover letter, CV, and other supporting material as a single PDF file to 

 

For further information, please see the official listing at PRSB TU Berlin.

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Robotics (student assistant)

Position: Student research assistant (only for students of Universities in Berlin)
Reference: 3434 T 81/18 
(please include this with your application!)

Topic: Robotics

We – the Robotics and Biology Lab – are looking for enthusiastic students that help us improving the capabilities of our robot platforms. We offer a flexible, collaborative work environment and the opportunity to learn and gain valuable experience in a wide range of robot-related topics.

 

Possible tasks/projects:

  • building soft robotic hands
  • conducting robotic experiments
  • development and testing of perception, planning, and control software
  • extension of our robot simulation framework
  • integration and enhancement of hardware drivers
  • teaching support

 

Required skills:

  • excellent C++ and/or python coding abilities
  • comfortable operating under Linux
  • excellent English

 

Nice to have skills:

  • successful completion of a course offered by RBO (e.g. Robotics: Fundamentals, Robotics, or Computational Biology)
  • experience with rubber molding (silicone rubber, vacuum casting)
  • experience with soldering of small components (custom PCBs)
  • knowledge of the fundamentals of robotics (e.g. kinematics, dynamics, planning, probabilistic methods, etc.)
  • experience using real-life sensor data and dealing with error / uncertainty
  • experience controlling robot arms
  • experience using computer vision (camera, Kinect)
  • experience using machine learning algorithms
  • experience with the robotics/vision software packages: ROS, OpenCV, PCL
  • experience with computer graphics and physics engines: Blender, Bullet, PhysX
  • experience using machine learning software: scikit-learn, Theano

 

If you fulfill some of the above mentioned requirements please email your application, including cover letter, CV and other supporting material as a single PDF file to .

 

For further information, please see the official listing at PRSB TU Berlin.

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Zusatzinformationen / Extras

Quick Access:

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Auxiliary Functions

Professor Dr. Oliver Brock

Office hours
Friday 10-12,
please make an
appointment

Administration

Elizabeth Ball
Tel. +49 30 314-73 110
Fax +49 30 314-21 116
Room MAR 5.032

Address

TU Berlin
Fakultät IV, MAR 5-1
Marchstraße 23
10587 Berlin
Germany