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A team of researchers at Harvard, Northeastern, and Centeye, Inc. are collaborating to create a coordinated colony of robotic bees: 'RoboBees'. Inspired by the biology of a bee and the insect’s hive behavior, the researchers aim to push advances in miniature robotics and the design of compact high-energy power sources; spur innovations in ultra-low-power computing and electronic “smart” sensors; and refine coordination algorithms to manage multiple, independent machines. Research topics are split between 'body', 'brain', and 'colony' and we have multiple postdoctoral research positions open in these areas. Before applying for these positions, please read over the synopsis of the RoboBees project on our website (robobees.seas.harvard.edu), and indicate in your application how your research interests overlap with the specific themes above.
Body: Topics within the body include studies of the functional morphology of a bee's flight apparatus, aeromechanical design of flapping-wing propulsion, development of a milligram-scale power source, and eventual integration of complete robotic bee prototypes.
Applicants should have a Ph.D. in mechanical or electrical engineering or a related field. Experience with microfabrication techniques is essential.
Brain: Part of the project will involve development of the electronic 'brain' responsible for flight coordination, sensing, and communication. We are looking for postdoctoral candidates with a strong background in one or more of the areas of computer architecture, embedded systems, and VLSI design. Prior experience in hardware or software development for embedded or low-power computing systems would be helpful, although not required.
Applicants should have a Ph.D. in mechanical or electrical engineering, computer science, or a related field. Hands-on experience with feedback control techniques is essential.
Colony: As with natural bees, we expect that RoboBees will coordinate to perform tasks collectively to be more effective and robust than individuals acting independantly. The RoboBee project is seeking a postdoctoral researcher to design colony level algorithms and develop a first-round embedded testbed for testing wireless communication and sensing aspects of the robots.
Applicants should have a Ph.D. in computer science or a related field.
Instructions for all applicants:
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 (9/1/09) and are guaranteed for a year with a possible second year extension. Please clearly indicate which position you are applying for. These documents should be submitted as pdf attachments to our administrator Hetchen Ehrenfeld (hetchen at seas dot harvard dot edu).
Harvard University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer and applications from women and underrepresented minorities are strongly encouraged.