The Robotics research at KU Leuven Department of Mechanical Engineering has pioneered robotics research in Europe since the mid-1970s. It has covered virtually all aspects of sensor-based robotics, from the high-level task specification down to low-level sensor-based control, and applied the research results in a variety of industrial applications. In the last decade the group shifted its attention towards advanced industrial robot assistants, and active sensing. The Intelligent Mobile Platform (IMP) group is a multi-disciplinary and multi-campus research group originating from the robotics research with a focus on the intelligent design and control of the mobile platforms of the future with a special focus on waterway transport applications. The industrial relevance of the department's research activities is witnessed by its many spin-off companies and its tradition of close industry collaboration in numerous European, national, and bilateral projects.
Autonomous trucks are emerging on our highways demonstrating the opportunities of translating mobile robotics sensor and software technology from the lab to the road. Safe autonomous navigating in a unstructured environment, including multiple unpredictable vehicles, remains challenging and of primary concern to both the technology developers and the legislative government. Another emerging field is autonomous shipping that faces similar challenges but at a different time and complexity scale. The scale reduction reduce the computational complexity but increase the need for a robust perception of the environment. Currently numerous proprioceptive sensors exist in a maritime environment (radar, GNSS IMU, sonar). However proper reliability (GNSS) or adequacy (radar, sonar) is lacking especially w.r.t inland shipping applications. This PhD research tries to find the adequate sensors and sensor setup for inland shipping to detect all relevant dynamic and static obstacles within a reasonable range (<1000 m).
We offer a challenging engineering job within running TETRA and EFRO projects combined with an attractive salary package. We offer a PhD position in a stimulating and multi-disciplinary environment and with a strong industry network. Your job location will be in Leuven.