Postdoctoral Researcher in Bio-inspired Robotics

Updated: about 21 hours ago

Materials science and technology are our passion. With our cutting-edge research, Empa's around 1,100 employees make essential contributions to the well-being of society for a future worth living. Empa is a research institution of the ETH Domain.


We seek a highly motivated Postdoctoral Researcher to join the

Soft Kinetic group

 pursuing a vision of life-like robot movement by translating mechanisms from biology as we conduct experimental validation of animal locomotion hypotheses by using robotic physical models. The candidate has demonstrable experimental robotics experience and a keen interest in biologically inspired mechanics and control. The successful candidate will develop robot locomotion capabilities leveraging their experience in mechatronics and embedded systems, whilst incorporating principles discovered in model animals. On the way to quantifying locomotion performance as a function of morphological and shape changes the ideal candidate will be comfortable in designing experimental test rigs.


Your responsibilities
  • Develop novel bio-inspired robotic devices to investigate robust locomotion transitions
  • Design mechatronic rigs involving interfacing through microcontrollers to the motors, angular encoders, force sensors, etc.
  • Design and implement closed-loop control strategies for robotic systems
  • Conduct experiments to evaluate the robot locomotion performance utilizing measurement techniques (kinematics, dynamics)
  • Determine engineering requirements based on physical foundations underpinning designs
  • Team work with group to integrate the developed systems into larger projects, propose follow-up research

Your profile
  • Ph.D. in Robotics, Mechatronics, Electrical Engineering or a related field
  • Background in bio-inspired robotics, mechatronics, and embedded systems
  • Experience with hardware design, additive manufacturing, prototyping
  • Methodological and goal-oriented working behavior, good management skills
  • Feels comfortable in a multidisciplinary environment and enjoys working in a team that combines expertise in materials and mechanical engineering
  • Excellent communication skills generally, in English, both written and spoken
  • Self-motivated, open minded and communicative attitude
  • Record of publications in top-tier robotics conferences and journals is preferred
  • Experience with underactuated systems, bending actuators and/or soft sensors is desired

Our offer

World class facilities on our campus include a Competence Center for additive manufacturing, ETH-Empa water and wind tunnels, and strong collaborative links within our ETH Domain family. 


You will be welcomed to join a vibrant, diverse environment in the heart of Europe. Empa’s main campus, where the Soft Kinetic Group in Engineering Sciences Department, is located close to downtown Zürich and 20 minutes from Zurich International Airport. Zurich is among the cities with the highest quality of life worldwide, welcoming to non-German speaking people, and with ample opportunities for social, cultural, and outdoor activities.

You will have the opportunity to work with a highly collaborative and multidisciplinary team of researchers in the field of bio-inspired robotics. The position offers a competitive salary and benefits package as well as opportunities for professional development and career advancement. Applications are open immediately with the desired commencement date is as soon as is practicable or upon mutually agreed. The duration of this position is offered until 31 Ocotber 2025. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the position is filled.


We live a culture of inclusion and respect. We welcome all people who are interested in innovative, sustainable and meaningful activities - that's what counts.

PatriciaNitzsche, Stv. Leiterin Human Resources / Dep. Head Human Resources



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