The Autonomous Aerial Systems (AAS) Group at the newly founded Department of Aerospace and Geodesy at TU Munich invites applications for two PhD Students.

The Autonomous Aerial Systems Group aims at developing the technology to design fully autonomous aerial systems for transportation and aerial manipulation. We are driven to overcome the mechanical, perceptual and cognitive challenges to achieve high-speed and enduring transportation and dexterous manipulation capabilities.

Your Project
Successful candidates might work in one of the following major research efforts of the group:

  • Dexterous aerial manipulation: Aerial robots with the capability to autonomously manipulate their environment are invaluable in many applications, e.g., monitoring infrastructure, support in natural disasters or building and constructing structures on conventional construction sites. However, manipulation and construction in unstructured environments requires aerial robots with advanced manipulation and perception skills. Our goal is to develop novel autonomous aerial service robots and the required algorithms. This pursuit is multidisciplinary, combining mechanical design, perception, control and planning.
  • High-speed flight in unstructured environments: There has been considerable recent work in control of UAVs to enable aggressive, highly dynamic flight in known environments with motion capture systems. However, these existing systems have not been shown to enable the same kind of flight skills in systems that only rely on onboard sensing. Autonomous drones remain far behind the skills of a trained human pilot. In this research line we will use semantic information to reason about the visible scene to improve trajectory planning and use methods from deep reinforcement learning to enable the full dynamical potential of aerial platforms enabling high-speed and safe flight close to obstacles.

Own ideas can be discussed as well.

Your Skills
Beyond a passion for robotics, mathematics, programming and abstract thinking candidates are expected to

  • have a master’s degree in computer science, mechanical/aeronautical/electrical engineering, robotics, physics or related fields,
  • have substantial experience in programming (e.g. C/C++, Python, Matlab),
  • be passioned in working with robotic hardware,
  • have excellent English skills,
  • enjoy working independently as well as in a team.

As an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer, TUM encourages application from women as well as from all others who would bring additional diversity to the university’s research and teaching strategies. Preference will be given to disabled candidates with essentially the same qualifications.

Our offer:
The AAS Group is located at the newly founded TUM Campus in Ottobrunn (south of Munich) – next to many industrial partners. The campus is dynamically growing, interdisciplinary and offers the opportunity to shape the future of aerospace. We are offering

  • a funded research position for three years with salary according to TV-L E13,
  • an interdisciplinary and international research environment,
  • cutting edge research in modern environment,
  • the possibility to conduct PhD partially abroad.

To apply, please submit your application, including the following documents: a) cover letter, b) CV, c) copies of university degree certificates and transcripts and d) up to three contacts of referees. Please send your application in a single PDF file, with the subject format ‘AAS_Application_NAME’, to markus.ryll@tum.de. We will be reviewing applications on a rolling basis until positions are filled.