Post-Doc position available at Inria Rhone-Alpes, Grenoble (FR) - Autonomous navigation in dynamic environments

             ----------------------              Post-doctoral proposal
The Inria e-Motion research project-team at Inria Rhone-Alpes is opening a Post-doctoral position in the field of:
     Autonomous navigation in dynamic environments.
o Subject Description:
Mobivip is a French research project whose purpose is to study, evaluate and experiment technologies revolving around novel forms of transportation systems based on "Public Individual Vehicles" (see for more details). Public Individual Vehicles are similar to their European counterparts, the Cybercars (see ).
In this framework, the e-Motion group of Inria Rhone-Alpes addresses the problem of automated driving in open and dynamic environments.    An environment is dynamic when it features moving objects and it is open when full knowledge about it is not available beforehand (which is typically the case of most real environments, in particular roadway-like environments).
The Inria e-Motion research project-team (formerly known as Sharp) has a long history in the field of motion autonomy. It has been involved in a number of French, European and International programmes and has demonstrated in various occasions different autonomous driving skills with real vehicles (parking, platooning, obstacle avoidance). e-Motion has developed a number of techniques in fields as different as perception, localisation, map building, motion planning, sensory-motor coupling and reactive motion execution.
e-Motion is currently exploring a motion planning scheme called "Partial Motion Planning" (PMP) whose purpose is to explicitly deal with the constraints imposed by a dynamic environment, in particular the real-time constraint imposed by the dynamicity of the environment: the motion planner has a limited-time only to compute a motion.
Given the intrinsic complexity of motion planning, fulfilling such a real-time constraint is in general impossible to guarantee (even with the most efficient randomised motion planners existing today). One way to cope cope with this issue is to compute a partial motion only, ie the best partial motion given the time available. In a way, PMP can be seen as a compromise between pure motion planning and reactive approaches.
PMP, like reactive approaches, raises a safety issue: what guarantee do we have that the robotic system will never find itself in a dangerous situation yielding a collision in the future (this issue is critical in dynamic environments).
To solve this problem, we believe that the concept of "Inevitable Collision States" (ICS) can be useful. An ICS is a state such that no matter what the future trajectory of a robotic system is, it eventually collides with an obstacles. This concept is general and permits to take into account the dynamics of both the robotic system and the moving objects. Clearly, for its own safety, a robotic system should never be in one of these ICS.
A first version of the PMP algorithm has been developed and implemented on the experimental vehicle of the Inria research unit located near Paris (PhD of Stephane Petti). The primary purpose of this Post-Doc position is to integrate this algorithm onto the experimental vehicle of Inria Rhone-Alpes and then to further the work on PMP and ICS so as to demonstrate the validity of the overall concept on a real car-like vehicle.
o Requirements (educational and technical background, knowledge of specific material):
The experimental component of this post-doc will be significant. It will involve a lot of development on the e-Motion experimental platform, a Cycab vehicle. Candidates should be motivated and definitely have a taste for this kind of work.    Former experience in real-time programming and control theory is a plus.
Mobivip being a French programme, fluency in french is very much welcomed (although not technically required).
o Starting date: as early as possible (December 2005 would be great).
o Duration: one year.
o Wages: approximately 1800 Euros per month, including standard health      coverage.
o Person to contact (name, email, postal address, URL):
- Dr. Thierry FRAICHARD - - Inria Rhone-Alpes 655 avenue de l'Europe Montbonnot 38334 Saint Ismier Cedex France -
o Application dossier: applicants should send a small (preferably          electronic) dossier featuring:
- motivation letter, - complete Curriculum Vitae, - academic background with the courses attended, the grades and the rankings obtained (very important), - list and pointers to selected publications and PhD. - recommendation letters, - and any additional information you might find useful.
o Project Web Server:
                Thierry Fraichard, September 12, 2005
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