At the University of California, Santa Cruz Machine Interaction lab, we have a vision of dexterous and autonomous soft robots. We have ongoing work into all major areas of soft robotics, and we are looking to fill a key Post-Doctoral researcher position to further these goals. The lab is building upon our recent work in the microfluidic control of an untethered entirely soft robot (Octobot), pneumatic energy sources for autonomous and wearable soft robotics, and control of soft robots.
About the position:
The candidate will explore options for energetics at the micro-scale, use microfluidics to control liquid fuels, and investigate novel energy conversion systems. The goal is a demonstration of controlled energy conversion from a liquid fuel source to mechanical/kinetic or electric energy as an option to power small scale robots. We seek candidates with microfluidics experience, and a strong track record in innovative design and hands-on fabrication. Prior experience in soft robotics, dielectric elastomers, and liquid fuel is a plus. This work is part of a larger project in collaboration with SRI, PARC, and UC Berkeley. Local travel to these institutions is anticipated. Candidates will have frequent phone/video conferences with team members from these institutions. Candidates will be expected to prepare progress reports and demonstrations for visits by these team members. Candidates must be comfortable collaborating with senior engineers in industry and labs at other universities. With the nature of this collaboration, this position can be a good "fit" for candidates pursuing academic or non-academic career tracks. Candidates must hold a PhD in mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, physics, or a closely related field.
About the research group:
The candidate will be part of the Machine Interaction lab at UC Santa Cruz, which specializes in interaction between robots and their environments including terrain, humans, and animals. Topics of interest include all areas of soft robotics (design, fabrication, sensing, control, energetics, autonomy, microfluidics), wearable robotics, and robot design for interaction/inherently safe robot design. The candidate will use the W. M. Keck center for Optofluidics, microfluidic soft systems. The candidate will use the new (opening April 2019) UCSC Robotics lab with 6200 square foot lab space including flight arena, fabrication shop, design center with all major additive and subtractive fabrication capabilities including many 3D Printing technologies, traditional and CNC machining, and laser cutting, and various molding/soft systems fabrication facilities. Dry lab and computer facilities are in the heart of the redwoods. Wet-lab space is a short walk from National Bridges State Beach and across the street from the Monarch Butterfly Natural Preserve.
Applicants should send a cover letter briefly describing their background and career plans, a CV, and the names and contact information for at least three references. The positions are open immediately (March, 2019) and guaranteed for a year with a possible second year extension. These documents should be submitted as pdf attachments to MiWehner@ucsc.edu