The Soft Robotics Lab within the Institute of Robotics and Intelligent Systems at ETH Zurich is inviting applications for an open postdoctoral position. We are looking for an excellent researcher to join and steer our research efforts in the fabrication and control of biohybrid robots. Our lab's goal is to build, model, and control robots in a fundamentally different way, so that they become more flexible, dexterous, capable, and adapt better to their environment. The lab has showcased its research in robotic design and algorithms through real-world applications such as a robotic fish for underwater locomotion, soft robotic hands for pick-and-place tasks, and multi-segment arms for dynamic object manipulation.
Robots made of soft materials, so-called soft robots, well surpass the limited degrees of freedom that rigid systems possess and therefore potentially offer adaptable and inherently safe ways of achieving versatile forms in locomotion and manipulation. Soft robots can homogeneously combine actuation, sensing, and structure in one composite. In our lab, we develop continuously deformable robots using compliant materials and intelligent sensors whose properties resemble those of living organisms. These soft robots can be used more flexibly and are safer than conventional ones when interacting with humans and surroundings. The vision of this project is to take soft robots a huge leap forward and use cell-based materials to build soft biohybrid actuators and systems.
Constructing the body of a soft robot with fully integrated actuation and sensing is already challenging, especially when trying to reproducibly build such soft robots. Existing material selections, designs, and fabrication techniques do not easily allow for robotic actuators with decent power density and adequate sensor resolution needed intasks such as versatile grasping. Instead of casting or printing elastomers, we envision in this project to take existing non-mammal cells and grow them further into composites that become functional robotic actuators with integrated actuation and sensing.
You research and develop fabrication and cell-culture techniques as well as computational models to enable you to design, cast, print and grow functional artificial muscle tissues. You advance research in the areas of cell proliferation, growth-factors, active transport, cell-encapsulation, cell-based sensing, neurological actuation, and closed-loop control methods. You will work with non-mammal cells and combine those with self-developed biological printing materials in our lab environment. Your insights and techniques will allow you to grow, maintain, and control artificially grown muscle tissue. The resulting biohybrid robotic actuators will become one of the first demonstrations of technologies that eventually could become useful for medical and commercial applications such as adaptable exoskeletons, underwater swimmers, and manipulators.
Your fabrication and control approach will be design-agnostic and user-friendly to facilitate broad adoption in the biohybrid and robotics community. You will create an open-source design, modeling, and experimentation framework for biohybrid robots. The development of such a framework will be facilitated through your active collaborations with other researchers working on cell-biology, materials science, 3D printing, and numerical simulations of biological tissues.
Next to your research efforts, you are a passionate mentor and a patient educator. You are outstanding in mentoring students performing their semester projects or thesis works in our lab. You will also be involved in the teaching of graduate classes in biohybrid robotics and soft robotics.
You are extremely curious, highly driven, greatly independent, and you want to make a real difference with your research. You work best when you are in a team, you are respectful and thrive when you can collaborate with others and provide support. Through your prior experiences, you have ideally already shown your understanding and skills in:
A foundational understanding of cell biology and structural mechanics is essential for the successful completion of this proposed postdoctoral research endeavour. It is required that you are already proficient in performing benchwork work in a BSL1+ wet lab. You collaborate well with your lab mates and other research labs, you are a resourceful asset for other researchers and students, and you can make efficient use of the provided support from R&D experts, scientists, engineers, and doctoral students with background in materials science, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, computer science, and physics.
We look forward to receiving your online application with the following documents:
Please note that we exclusively accept applications submitted through our online application portal. Applications via email or postal services will not be considered. Applications missing required documents will not be considered. We will be in contact with you after 2-3 weeks following your application.
Further information about the Soft Robotics Lab can be found on our website www.srl.ethz.ch. Questions regarding the position should be directed by email to Prof. Katzschmann (no applications please).
|Title||Postdoctoral Researcher in Growing, Fabricating and Controlling of Biohybrid Robots|
|Job location||Rämistrasse 101, 8006 Zurich|
|Published||August 3, 2020|
|Job types||Postdoc  |
|Fields||Algorithms,   Biomedical Engineering,   Cell Biology,   Artificial Neural Network,   Control Systems Engineering,   Robotics,   Electrical Engineering,   Mechanical Engineering  |