PhD/Postdoc Position for Modular Robotics

Updated: about 3 hours ago

04.05.2021, Wissenschaftliches Personal

The research group Cyber-Physical Systems of Prof. Matthias Althoff at the Technical University of Munich offers a PhD/Postdoc position in the area of modular robotics. The Technical University of Munich is one of the top research universities in Europe fostering a strong entrepreneurial spirit and international culture.

Expected Starting Date: 01 July-01 October 2021

Closing Date for Applicants: 30 June 2021

Duration: 3 years with a possible extension (individual duration for Postdocs).

Project and Job Description

State-of-the-art manipulators are purchased for a specific purpose and cannot be reconfigured easily for new tasks. Additionally, they often have to be caged to guarantee human safety. Consequently, automation processes are meticulously planned for mass production to reach a high cost-efficiency. However, the ongoing trend toward mass customization and small-scale manufacturing requires purchasing new robots on a regular basis to cope with frequently changing demands. Modular robots are a natural answer to the above-mentioned challenges: Robots composed of standardized modules can be easily reassembled for new tasks, can be quickly repaired by exchanging broken modules, and are cost-effective by mass-producing standard modules usable for a large variety of robot types.

In order to provide a full plug-and-play solution for the industry, applicants should develop new methods to automatically find optimal compositions of robotic modules for a given task. This should be achieved by a combination of methods, such as optimization techniques and machine learning. The research will build upon previous results from our research group, see, e.g.,


. We propose that modular robots in combination with our safety system allows one to use robots in highly complex and dangerous constructing work. This should be demonstrated in the collaborative EU project CONCERT. Collaborating with our in-house startup Kea-robotics is also possible (


Job Specifications

  • For PhD applicants: Excellent Master’s degree (or equivalent) in computer science, engineering, or related disciplines (typically mathematics, physics).
  • For Postdoc applicants: Excellent track record in computer science or engineering.
  • Fluency in spoken and written English is required.
  • Proficient in at least one programming language, e.g. MATLAB, C/C++, Python.
  • Highly motivated and keen on working in an international and interdisciplinary team.
  • Applicants with strong background in the following fields are preferred:
    • Robotics
    • Motion Planning
    • Machine learning
    • Control theory


The applicant will be directly advised by Prof. Matthias Althoff (

). Besides excellent skills for conducting innovative science, the candidate should also be talented in implementing research results on a real robots vehicle and lead teams of students.

Our Offer

PhD remuneration will be in line with the current German collective pay agreement TV-L E13 (around 4300€ per month before tax). Technical University of Munich is an equal opportunity employer committed to excellence through diversity. We explicitly encourage women to apply and preference will be given to disabled applicants with equivalent qualifications.


International candidates are highly encouraged to apply. Please send a complete application (in English) including a CV, your Master’s thesis (only for PhD applicants), your full transcript of records (only for PhD applicants) and contact details. We kindly ask you to not include a cover letter.

We will only consider applications with the subject line “Application to Modular Robotics”

sent to In case you have a question, please use the same email address and the subject line “Questions to Modular Robots PhD”. Further similar job offerings will be announced on


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Kontakt: Jakob Thumm (

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