Studierende finden an der ETH Zürich ein Umfeld, das eigenständiges Denken fördert, Forschende ein Klima, das zu Spitzenleistungen inspiriert.
The Micro- and Nanosystems (MNS) Group at D-MAVT has developed a miniaturized pressure sensor in a matrix configuration that wraps around a robotic finger on a flexible PCB. In cooperation with the Integrated Systems Laboratory (IIS) the tactile sensor matrix has been characterized with discrete electronics. This approach shows limitations in read-out speed per sensor, sensitivity level, and the number of sensors in the matrix. Also, discrete electronics cannot reach then required degree of miniaturization. The MNS Group and IIS have therefore teamed up with the Robotics System Lab. to develop a robotic gripper with a dedicated integrated system on chip combined supporting the tactile sensor on each finger in an ETH project that has been granted.
The IIS is looking for PhD student to realize the integrated circuit design part and the processing for feature extraction in the above project.
Haptic-based sensing in robotics has been limited by not only a lack of a miniaturized and integrated technology equivalent to the human skin but also by the complexity of processing the large amount of data that fine-grained tactile sensors provide. However, recent advances in integrated circuits and fabrication techniques (flexible electronics, portable and energy-efficient GPUs) along with large-scale data-driven paradigms (deep learning, reinforcement learning) pave the road towards new possibilities in perceptive mobile manipulation in general, but especially haptic-based manipulation. This project aims to make a leap in the state-of-the-art tactile sensing for robotics, specifically for robotic grippers, and to employ the new capabilities to allow for advanced robotic manipulation.
In a first phase of the project you will be responsible for the realization of an analog front-end including a signal source, an amplification stage and an ADC for the capacitive tactile sensor. This comprises the concept, design, and layout of an integrated circuit and it's characterization in the lab. You will use state-of-the art EDA tools for this purpose and enjoy the support of the Microelectronics Design Center of the Department.
In a second phase the ASIC front-end will be used to capture a vast amount of data from an improved version of the tactile sensor. In order to extract the desired features his data must be reduced by digital signal processing algorithms including processing with neural networks in cooperation with the project partners. Then, the most promissing algorithms with respect to hardware implementation will be chosen and implemented with a corresponding hardware architecture with the help on the Microelectronic Design Center.
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.
Further information about the Integrated Systems Laboratory and the Departement of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering of ETH Zurich can be found on our websites iis.ee.ethz.ch and ee.ethz.ch, respectively. Questions regarding the position should be directed to Dr. Thomas Burger by email email@example.com (no applications).
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