Open postdoc position in robot learning applied to bimanual underwater teleoperation

The Robot Learning & Interaction Group at the Idiap Research Institute ( in Switzerland has an open Postdoc position within the DexROV European project (, in collaboration with 6 other partners in Belgium, France, Italy, Germany and the Netherlands.

The candidate will develop probabilistic learning methods to control two robot arms mounted on an underwater vehicle, with information coming from a teleoperator immersed in a virtual environment and wearing an exoskeleton with force feedback. It is proposed to cope with transmission delays (satellite communication) by encoding the actions as a set of motion, synergy and impedance primitives that will be employed as task-adaptive building blocks assembled in sequence and in parallel. The developed models will be used simultaneously for classification, prediction and online synthesis. On the teleoperator side, it will be used to recognize movements or subtasks employed in previous missions and to estimate the expected next steps. On the robot side, it will be used to retrieve a temporary autonomous behaviour until a new signal from the teleoperator is available.

The ideal candidate will have a PhD degree in engineering, physics, computer science or applied mathematics. S/he should also demonstrate a strong background in statistics, linear algebra, signal processing and programming (C++ or Matlab). The position is from one to two years. The starting date is as soon as possible, but can be discussed. Annual gross salary is 80’000 CHF.

For more information, please contact Dr Sylvain Calinon (, Interested candidates should submit a letter of motivation, a detailed CV, and the names of three references (or recommendation letters) through the Idiap online recruitment system: Application deadline: Feb. 15, 2017.

About Idiap:

Idiap is an independent, non-profit research institute recognized and supported by the Swiss Government, and affiliated with the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne ( It is located in the town of Martigny in Valais, a scenic region in the south of Switzerland, surrounded by the highest mountains of Europe, and offering exceptional quality of life, exciting recreational activities, including hiking, climbing and skiing, as well as varied cultural activities. It is within close proximity to Lausanne and Geneva. Although Idiap is located in the French part of Switzerland, English is the working language. Free French lessons are provided on a complimentary basis.
Idiap offers competitive salaries and conditions at all levels in a young, dynamic, and multicultural environment. The institute is an equal opportunity employer and is actively involved in the “Advancement of Women in Science” European initiative.

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