Research Assistant /Associate in Spatial Perception for Autonomous Drones

Job summary

The Smart Robotics Lab (SRL) is part of the Department of Computing which is a leading department of Computer Science among UK Universities. For further information about the group and related projects see: http://wp.doc.ic.ac.uk/sleutene/. We are seeking to appoint a Research Assistant / Associate to develop Vision-Based Localisation and Mapping (SLAM) algorithms as well as autonomous navigation strategies, including, notably, exploration...

Job listing information

  • Reference ENG00963
  • Date posted 15 August 2019
  • Closing date 15 September 2019

Job description

Job summary

The Smart Robotics Lab (SRL) is part of the Department of Computing which is a leading department of Computer Science among UK Universities. For further information about the group and related projects see: http://wp.doc.ic.ac.uk/sleutene/.

We are seeking to appoint a Research Assistant / Associate to develop Vision-Based Localisation and Mapping (SLAM) algorithms as well as autonomous navigation strategies, including, notably, exploration techniques for small drones operating in cluttered environments. The post is funded by the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) EPSRC Reference: EP/N018494/1, title: Aerial Additive Building Manufacturing: Distributed Unmanned Aerial Systems for in-situ manufacturing of the built environment, short Aerial ABM. Project Aerial ABM is devoted to developing an aerial robotic construction system that enables aerial robots to 3D print building structures autonomously. Additive Building Manufacturing (ABM), is already being trialled in many parts of the world and involves the use of large robots on a building site to 3D Print (extrude) building materials to construct buildings. The research aims to miniaturise ABM and provide it with aerial capabilities so that it can be more mobile, and able to manufacture complex building structures while adapting to diverse site scenarios.

Duties and responsibilities

The appointed Research Assistant / Research Associate will undertake high quality research in SLAM, path planning and exploration of autonomous drones. The successful candidate will be expected to have an excellent background in computer vision, robotic navigation, active sensing, machine learning and high-performance programming. Experience in deep learning is beneficial. The researcher will be a member of the Smart Robotics Lab (SRL) based at the South Kensington campus, and will be supervised by Dr Stefan Leutenegger. As this is a collaborative project, the post holder will be interacting with a team of researchers with the Smart Robotics Lab (Stefan Leutenegger’s team), the Aerial Robotics Lab (Mirko Kovac), as well as externally with researchers at UCL (systems engineering and mission planning) and the University of Bath (civil engineering and material sciences).

Essential requirements

To apply, you will need to have:

  • Knowledge of a broad range of techniques, computer vision for mobile robotics and machine learning, as well as autonomous drone operation.
  • Preference will be given to applicants with a proven track record in vision-based SLAM, drone navigation, exploration and active sensing.
  • Excellent communication skills and be able to organise your own work with minimal supervision and prioritise work to meet deadlines.
  • At Research Assistant level you will have a good undergraduate degree or MSc (or their equivalents) in a closely related discipline with particular expertise mobile robotics, computer vision and machine learning, or equivalent research, industrial or commercial experience.
  • At Research Associate level you must have been awarded a PhD (or equivalent) in a subject relevant to the post with particular expertise in mobile robotics, computer vision and machine learning.

Further information

In addition to completing the online application, candidates should attach:

  • A full CV
  • A two-page research statement indicating interesting research issues relating to the above post and why your expertise is relevant.
  • Any element relating your experience / passion for software engineering (blog, open source projects, github repositories and others) will be carefully inspected.

Should you have any queries regarding the application process please contact Jamie Perrins by email to: j.perrins@imperial.ac.uk

For academic queries about the post please contact: Dr Stefan Leutenegger (s.leutenegger@imperial.ac.uk).

For technical issues when applying online please email recruitment@imperial.ac.uk

Committed to equality and valuing diversity, we are an Athena SWAN Silver Award winner, a Stonewall Diversity Champion, a Disability Confident Employer and work in partnership with GIRES to promote respect for trans people.

The College is a proud signatory to the San-Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA), which means that in hiring and promotion decisions, we evaluate applicants on the quality of their work, not the journal impact factor where it is published. For more information, see https://www.imperial.ac.uk/research-and-innovation/about-imperial-research/research-evaluation/

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About Imperial College London

Imperial College London is the UK’s only university focussed entirely on science, engineering, medicine and business and we are consistently rated in the top 10 universities in the world.

You will find our main London campus in South Kensington, with our hospital campuses located nearby in West and North London. We also have Silwood Park in Berkshire and state-of-the-art facilities in development at our major new campus in White City.

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It’s our mission to achieve enduring excellence in all that we do for the benefit of society – and we are looking for the most talented people to help us get there.

Additional information

Please note that job descriptions cannot be exhaustive and the post-holder may be required to undertake other duties, which are broadly in line with the above key responsibilities.

All Imperial employees are expected to follow the 7 principles of Imperial Expectations: 

  • Champion a positive approach to change and opportunity
  • Communicate regularly and effectively within, and across, teams
  • Consider the thoughts and expectations of others
  • Deliver positive outcomes
  • Encourage inclusive participation and eliminate discrimination
  • Develop and grow skills and expertise
  • Work in a planned and managed way 

In addition to the above, employees are required to observe and comply with all College policies and regulations.

Imperial College is committed to equality of opportunity, to eliminating discrimination and to creating an inclusive working environment. We are an Athena SWAN Silver award winner, a Stonewall Diversity Champion, a Disability Confident Employer and work in partnership with GIRES to promote respect for trans people.