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Assistant Professor Soft Robotics Human Robot Interaction and Design

Eindhoven University of Technology, Netherlands is inviting applicants to apply for a professor position in mechanical engineering. Applicants should apply as soon as possible.

In 2018, the 4TU.Federation has started research programs within the theme ‘High Tech for a Sustainable Future’. With this she gives a strong impetus to research into sustainable technology. The Netherlands' four universities of technology (TU Delft, TU Eindhoven, University of Twente and Wageningen University) are making a significant impact on social challenges in the long term. Within the programs, the four technical universities work closely together. In this context, the Eindhoven University of Technology has a vacancy for an assistant professor for the section Control Systems Technology in the area of soft robotics: modelling and control.

Robots that will daily operate in human environments, will need a 'soft touch'. The robots we know from industrial production, are extremely precise and fast, but very rigid as well. For physical and safe contact with people, or for handling vulnerable food products, they don't perform well. The '4TU Soft Robotics' program chooses a nature-inspired approach: the grip of a tree frog and the flexible arm of a cuttlefish. For this, knowledge of biology, fully new control systems and innovative robot design strategies go hand in hand. The partners of the technical universities strengthen each other in this.

A great potential of soft robots is to interact in an environment with humans. This is particularly true-but not limited to-areas as robots for care and robots for cure. In these cases the human-robot interaction research predominantly focuses on human safety. Due to their light weight and flexibility the soft robots can (co)-operate in close proximity with humans -they can work together towards a common goal. This possible synergy can be achieved via a proper design/control of soft robots on the one hand and by understanding how humans (have to) interact with robots on the other hand, particularly aiming at safety. A proper understanding of this interaction ultimately helps in designing future soft robots, particularly since the current developments of 3D additive technology opens new perspectives on manufacturing soft robots tailored for very specific tasks with relatively affordable costs. Despite the achievements of 3D technology, it imposes various constraints on the robot design.

You will be embedded in a thriving national program that has been established to advance the emerging field of Soft robotics. You will be working in a team of top scientists and you will have the opportunity to carry out excellent research, set up and contribute to educational programs and work on concrete solutions within our broad network of partners in policy and practice. We foster interdisciplinary collaboration between the six tenure trackers and the six postdoc positions to be appointed within this 4TU Soft Robotics program, and associated scientific staff, and public and private partners. All six Tenure trackers will be actively involved in the scientific, educational and valorization activities of the 4TU Soft Robotics program. It offers prospective candidates excellent opportunities to extend their networks with academic and societal partners.

In the section Dynamics and Control research focuses on the modeling, analysis and control of mechanical systems in a broad sense. This encompasses typical areas as mechatronics, modern vehicle control and last but not least automation of mechanical systems. The latter subject is nowadays a key driver for research in robotics. Besides various more industrial robotic applications in industry and agriculture, an important field is formed by robots for care and for cure. Though very different in usage, both directions have great potential for the future of mankind. A recent very relevant development in robotics for care and cure is framed as soft robotics where because of the very nature of a soft robot, human-robot interaction and safety is of primal importance.

As assistant professor soft robotics: modelling and control, you will fulfil the following activities:

We are looking for academically educated candidates in the field of mechanical engineering who require the following:

More information about this assistant professor position can be obtained from Prof.dr. H. Nijmeijer (h.nijmeijer@tue.nl, +31 40 2473203 ). For more information regarding recruitment please contact Sytse van Heijst. E: HRServices.Gemini@tue.nl

Please upload your written application with letter of motivation, detailed curriculum vitae including photograph, transcripts of BSc and MSc degrees (with grades), and contact information of two potential referees, through the "apply now" button.


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