PhD student: Long-Term Robot Autonomy in the Internet of Robotic Things Primary tabs

July 11 2017
Position Type
Full Time
Organization Type

Imec is the world-leading research and innovation hub in nanoelectronics and digital technologies. The combination of our widely acclaimed leadership in microchip technology and profound software and ICT expertise is what makes us unique. By leveraging our world-class infrastructure and local and global ecosystem of partners across a multitude of industries, we create groundbreaking innovation in application domains such as healthcare, smart cities and mobility, logistics and manufacturing, and energy.  

As a trusted partner for companies, start-ups and universities we bring together close to 3,500 brilliant minds from over 70 nationalities. Imec is headquartered in Leuven, Belgium and also has distributed R&D groups at a number of Flemish universities, in the Netherlands, Taiwan, USA, China, and offices in India and Japan. All of these particular traits make imec to be a top-class employer. To strengthen this position as a leading player in our field, we are looking for those passionate talents that make the difference!


The Internet and Data Lab (IDLAB, research group is part of Ghent University, Belgium and a core research group of imec ( , the world-leading research and innovation hub in nano-electronics and digital technologies. IDLab performs fundamental and applied research in research areas such as machine learning and distributed intelligence for IoT.

The job

Today's robotic applications are typically executed in well-controlled environments. However, our everyday environment is dynamic, large and unpredictable. The operational conditions of a robot are thus close to impredictable during the robotic design phase. Instead, robots should be able to discover their current context, evaluate available external resources (e.g. cloud, IoT devices, sensor networks) and adapt the task execution strategy accordingly. Only this will allow robots to realize long-term autonomy in dynamic environments, yet this can only succeed if robots are able to seamlessly operate with the Internet of Things who provide valuable context information.

The goal of this PhD is to realize long-term autonomy of robots in unknown environments.

The focus is on artificial intelligence techniques, including machine learning and planning.

  • You analyze and keep track of the state-of-the-art in cloud robotics, and AI techniques for robotics

  • You design research new reasoning approaches, realizing a form of intelligence that is distributed between the robot and other actors in the environment (cloud, other robots)

  • Your initial focus is on an industry collaboration project where robots are used to educate and follow-up patients on medical treatments

  • You have (or will receive soon) a Master's degree in Computer Science, Informatics, Artificial Intelligence or other related area

  • Experience in artificial intelligence or robotics is a plus but not necessary

  • You are willing to be active in a multidisciplinary project involving industry and academia

  • You are willing to present your research at conferences and publish articles in prestigious journals

  • You have excellent English communication skills


Please apply with your motivation letter and a detailed CV, including a resume of your master thesis. You should also list reference contacts.

This job comes from a partnership with Science Magazine and Euraxess

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