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Doug Stephen is Politely Peeved

IHMC, The DARPA Robotics Challenge, and Job Opportunities! We're hiring for our Robotics Challenge team!

Tue, 02 Oct 2012 «permalink»

These positions are no longer open, but you can always visit to see if we have any new openings or internships available. Thanks.

My employer, The Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition, was recently awarded a spot to compete in the DARPA Robotics Challenge. We’ve done lots of work with DARPA before, including their LittleDog based Learning Locomotion challenges, and the previously mentioned FastRunner robot that we’re still working on. This year we intend to be pretty competitive, and wouldn’t you know it, but we’re hiring for both the Robotics Challenge team, the FastRunner team, and a few other positions. They’ve asked me to write up a small description of the job positions and share it with as many people as possible since I have a small audience, so here you go.

We’re looking to fill 5 positions.

These are not internship or entry-level positions. Many of them are software related, however, not all of them require a background in robotics. We are looking for at least one strictly software person. I know for a fact that there are software folks reading this blog.

We accept international candidates as long as they are authorized to work in the U.S.; some of our stuff might require a minimum of a “Green Card” due to the convenience it affors with our NASA collaborations; we often travel to NASA facilities and it’s preferable that the candidate be able to walk around the area without requiring an escort, and I believe that a “Green Card” is the minimum requirement for this privilege (that’s what I have and it seems to have worked for me when I go to JSC in Houston).

I’m not involved in the job posting or hiring process whatsoever, I was just asked if I would mind sharing these job opportunities on my blog to amplify the signal and I was happy to oblige. All of the wording, job postings/listings, hiring decisions, interviewing, and all the rest of that stuff is managed by people who aren’t me.

These jobs will be challenging, and the best part of the whole thing is that you’ll get to work with me, your favorite blogger. Read on.

“Software Engineer Superstar”

This is a DARPA Robotics Challenge position.

I didn’t come up with the job title, but just roll with it.

First, this position is strictly for a skilled software developer. A background in robotics is not required, and this would be a great position for someone who wants to learn more about robotics. That said, we’re looking for a fairly skilled candidate to take the position, with skills that do start to creep outside of just raw programming; things like maintaining large libraries of third party software, managing source control and continuous integration servers, and other less programmy but equally nerdy things. Knowledge of Linux, Windows, and OS X is a plus; we use all three pretty regularly.

We’re looking for a highly skilled Java programmer, or at least an object oriented programmer that can lock in to Java pretty quickly. We’re an Agile shop, and we lean heavily on concepts like Test-Driven Development, Continuous Integration, rapid iteration, etc. So if you’re not big on unit testing, agile planning, rapid iteration, continuous integration, and other modern buzz-wordy programming practices, then this might be a rough fit for you.

This position has some pretty rigorous requirements compared to the other positions we’re looking to fill; so much so that we’ve decided to give it its own page describing some skills we feel you should have before applying. If this sounds like you, you can read the Interview Requirements for this position here.

Robot Manipulation Expert

This is a DARPA Robotics Challenge position.

We’re looking for a Masters or PhD holder with thesis/research background in robotics manipulation, knowledge of robot kinematics/dynamics & control theory, and strong object-oriented programming skills.

If this sounds like you, click through to read the entire job posting (that’s

Control Software Developer

This is a position working on our Exoskeleton.

This is a software development position for someone with a strong background in control theory and writing control software to run on real hardware. Minimum of a Bachelor’s in a related field, Master’s preferred. Strong Java or at least OO skills are required.

If this sounds like you, click through to read the entire job posting (that’s

Planning Algorithms Software Engineer

This is a software development position for someone with a strong background in planning algorithms. Minimum of Bachelor’s or Master’s in a related field is required. Strong Java or OO skills are required. This job is related to semi-autonomous rotocraft trajectory planning, and involves collaboration with NASA Ames in California. We will give consideration to exceptional candidates located in the Moffett Field area that have the ability to travel to Pensacola for 1-2 week stretches on occasion for coordination.

If this sounds like you, click through to read the entire job posting (that’s

Running Robot Control System Engineer

This is a position for a PhD holding legged robot controls system expert. Strong Java or OO skills are required. And yes, this is a position on our FastRunner team. Full-time applicants will be considered, but the preferred candidate for this position will be looking for a 1-2 year postdoc fellowship.

If this sounds like you, click through to read the entire job posting (that’s