Postdoctoral Scholar position in Tactile Perception available immediately

We seek a Postdoctoral Scholar to join our research team immediately. The Postdoctoral Scholar will have the opportunity to be involved in a variety of projects involving the development of tactile perception algorithms and their use in the control of robot arms and grippers for haptic exploration, grasp, and manipulation.

One candidate project involves the development of tactile perception algorithms for haptic search in granular media environments and the manipulation of cables. A variety of deformable tactile sensor technologies (fluidic, optical) will be used to develop tactile perception algorithms and control algorithms for bimanual manipulation. The successful candidate will work closely with our project collaborators at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology: Prof. Julie Shah and Prof. Edward Adelson.

Another candidate project involves the marinization of multimodal tactile sensor skins and the development of tactile perception algorithms for underwater robots. The research is experimentally intensive and requires the ruggedization and testing of elastomeric, microfluidic liquid metal sensors for deep underwater environments. The successful candidate will work closely with our project collaborators: Prof. Jonathan D. Posner at the University of Washington and RE2 Robotics.

MINIMUM requirements:

  • Ph.D. degree in Robotics, Mechanical Engineering, Computer Science, Electrical Engineering or equivalent
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Proficiency in the testing and implementation of tactile sensor technology
  • Proficiency in data acquisition and the debugging of hardware-software systems
  • Proficiency with computer languages such as C/C++ and Python, and experience with ROS, higher level libraries (e.g. OMPL, MoveIt!, PyBullet, ARToolkit), and Linux machines
  • Proficiency with machine learning techniques (e.g., Gaussian processes, Convolutional neural networks, Reinforcement learning)
  • Initiative to identify, solve, and publish on novel research problems
  • Experience with managing teams of students and timely achievement of project milestones on a rigorous schedule

PREFERRED experience:

  • Expertise in acquiring and processing multimodal sensor data (computer vision, tactile, proprioceptive)
  • Expertise in the development and implementation of real-time, sensory feedback-driven controllers on robot hardware for reach, grasp, and manipulation
  • Expertise in human subject experiments and data analysis
  • Expertise in human-machine interfaces and shared autonomy systems

HOW TO APPLY:  Only electronic applications will be accepted.  Applicants should send an email to VJSANTOS [AT – no spam] ucla.edu with the subject line “Postdoc App: Tactile Perception”.  The email should contain a SINGLE PDF attachment titled “LASTNAME_FIRSTNAME.pdf” that includes the following: cover letter, CV, names and contact information for a minimum of three references, and a minimum of one recent publication demonstrating expertise relevant to the Postdoctoral Scholar position. Competitive candidates will be contacted for an interview. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

*** The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.  All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age or protected veteran status.  Additional information on policies and benefits that pertain to the Postdoctoral Scholar position is available at http://grad.ucla.edu/postdoc/.

[Credit for featured image]: Katie Falkenberg, Los Angeles Times