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AISB opportunities Bulletin Item

PhD student position in "Algorithms for Manipulation Planning with Imperfect Parts and Inaccurate Manipulators", THE NETHERLANDS

The Department of Information and Computing Sciences at Utrecht University has a job opening for a PhD researcher (1,0 fte)

Job description

The research project 'Algorithms for Manipulation Planning with Imperfect Parts and Inaccurate 
Manipulators' is funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO).

Industrial automation systems must rely on simple manipulators and modest sensing capabilities 
to be reliable and inexpensive. Research of the past decade shows that systems based on such 
components are amenable to systematic analysis and design.

A major obstacle to practical application is that existing results assume perfectly-shaped parts 
and manipulators that operate with infinite precision, while real parts are manufactured to 
tolerances and real manipulators are subject to errors. The goal of this project is to tackle 
this severe idealization and design algorithms for planning manipulation tasks that are guaranteed
to work despite part imperfection and manipulator inaccuracy. Taking into account these variations 
asks for completely different approaches to planning and design, employing techniques and insights
from the confluence of computational geometry, robotics, and physical modelling.

The PhD student will work in the area of Algorithmic Automation, and will be supervised by dr. 
Frank van der Stappen.


* Master in Computer Science or in Mathematics with a minor in CS.
* Interest (and preferably background) in algorithms design.
* Interest in applications in Robotics and Automation.
* Fluency in English writing.

Terms of employment

The candidate is offered a full-time position for 4 years.
Salary starts with EUR 2.042.- per month in the first year and increases to EUR 2.612.- gross per 
month in the fourth year. The salary is supplemented with a holiday bonus of 8% and an end-of-year
bonus of 8,3% per year. In addition we offer: a pension scheme, a partially paid parental leave, 
flexible employment conditions. Conditions are based on the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch 
Universities. The research group will provide the candidate with necessary support on all aspects 
of the project.

Further details

Additional information about the vacancy can be obtained from:
dr. Frank van der Stappen; mail:,
tel: +31 (0)30 253 5093.
This vacancy is published on the web page:

How to apply

Please send your application (including a letter of motivation, curriculum vitae and contact 
details of at least two references) before 31 May 2011 to email:

Please mention vacancy number 64103.