PhD position in Safe multi-human multi-robot collaboration

Updated: about 1 month ago
Deadline: 03 Oct 2021

Eindhoven University of Technology is looking for a PhD student to strengthen its research on model-based engineering, machine learning and supervisory control applied to multi-human multi-robot collaboration.


Mechanical Engineering

Reference number


Job description

Robots capable of autonomous decision making will be employed more and more in work contexts that involve interaction with a team of humans. As an example, think about the deployment of a multi-human, multi-robot team for logistical operations, for search and rescue or even surgeries.  In all these scenarios executable models of the behavior of a team of robots (think about controllers at supervision level) needs to ensure the meaningful progression towards the task while guaranteeing safety. How to model and realize such controllers in highly dynamic contexts, guaranteeing safety and meaningful progression towards the task remains a challenge. This is even more complicated when the low level behavior of the robots (i.e. perception or motion control level) are governed by (deep) learning algorithms whose outcome is difficult to predict at design time.

The PhD student will explore new approaches to model and realize controllers at supervision level for multi-human-multi-robots tasks in the presence of machine learning algorithms for perception and low level motion control. To facilitate the experimental set-up to validate the devised controllers, the PhD student can make use of the TechUnited RoboCup robots and consider the shared task to be a collaborative human-robot game. The TechUnited robots are already capable of playing games with humans at a basic level. The research will enable the next generation of collaborative multi-robot multi human systems capable of learning, adapting and interacting in a safe way.

TU/e will offer you plenty of opportunities for development. You can join the DISC (Dutch Institute for Systems and Control) school as well as several programs offered by TU/e for personal development.

We are looking for a very motivated candidate with eagerness to learn and approach problems from a fundamental as well as a practical perspective. When selected you will join the CST group of the Mechanical Engineering Department.

The Control Systems Technology (CST; website ) group as part of the department of Mechanical Engineering (ME) has an internationally recognized reputation in mechatronics, precision motion control and robotics. CST targets areas in Precision Machines, Robotics, Biomedical and Automotive engineering by designing performance based controllers, intelligent machine and algorithm designs. CST has a track record of over twenty years in bringing state-of-the-art systems and control theory into new designs and high-tech applications.

The CST group has a track record in European projects. It was coordinator of the FP7 – ROBOEARTH project, is and has been participating in H2020 projects EUREYECASE, ROPOD, AUTOPILOT and more recently SAFE-UP and many more European and nationally funded projects (INTEREG, OPZUID, FAST).

Since 2005, CST is the main contributor to the TU/e RoboCup team, named Tech United,  5 times world champion (’12, ’14, ’16, ’18, ‘19) in the Middle Size League and the 2019 world champion in the @Home Domestic Platform League with the TOYOTA Human Support Robot. The model-based, multidisciplinary-oriented approach has proven to be highly valuable in the field of robotics. The CST group is led by Prof. M. Steinbuch and has produced 5 start-ups in the past
10 years (Preceyes, MicroSure, Eindhoven Medical Robotics, Smart Robotics and recently RUVU- behavior for robots).

Job requirements
  • A master’s degree (or an equivalent university degree) in Physics, Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering or a related discipline
  • A research-oriented and proactive attitude.
  • Good programming skills in python and/or Matlab/Simulink
  • Experience in discrete event modelling is a plus
  • Ability to work in a team
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills in English.
  • Proactive and entrepreneurial mind-set, getting things done mentality.
  • Active former membership of student teams participating in RoboCup are considered a big plus.

Conditions of employment
  • A meaningful job in a dynamic and ambitious university with the possibility to present your work at international conferences.
  • A full-time employment for four years, with an intermediate evaluation (go/no-go) after nine months.
  • To develop your teaching skills, you will spend 10% of your employment on teaching tasks.
  • To support you during your PhD and to prepare you for the rest of your career, you will make a Training and Supervision plan and you will have free access to a personal development program for PhD students (PROOF program ).
  • A gross monthly salary and benefits (such as a pension scheme, pregnancy and maternity leave, partially paid parental leave) in accordance with the Collective Labor Agreement for Dutch Universities.
  • Additionally, an annual holiday allowance of 8% of the yearly salary, plus a year-end allowance of 8.3% of the annual salary.
  • Should you come from abroad and comply with certain conditions, you can make use of the so-called ‘30% facility’, which permits you not to pay tax on 30% of your salary.
  • A broad package of fringe benefits, including an excellent technical infrastructure, moving expenses, and savings schemes.
  • Family-friendly initiatives are in place, such as an international spouse program, and excellent on-campus children day care and sports facilities.

Information and application

More information

Do you recognize yourself in this profile and would you like to know more? Please contact
dr. Elena Torta, e.torta[at]

For information about terms of employment, click here or contact Hind Boulgalag, HR advisor,
h.boulgalag[at] or hrservices.gemini[at]

Please visit to find out more about working at TU/e!


We invite you to submit a complete application by using the 'apply now'-button on this page.
The application should include a:

  • Cover letter in which you describe your motivation and qualifications for the position.
  • Curriculum vitae, including a list of your publications and the contact information of three references.
  • Brief description of your MSc thesis.
  • A list of grades for bachelor and master
  • Optionally letter(s) of recommendation

We look forward to your application and will screen it as soon as we have received it. Screening will continue until the position has been filled.

We do not respond to applications that are sent to us in a different way.

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