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Post-doctoral position : Design of a soft robotic gripper capable of self-sensing

In the framework of the of the International Research Centre “Innovative Transportation and Production Systems” of the I-SITE CAP 20-25 project (CIR ITPS), a one-year postdoctoral position is proposed for highly motivated candidates interested in robotics, smart materials, design and control. The candidate will be joining the Institut Pascal within the MRSI Theme of the M3G research Axis, at Clermont-Ferrand (France).



The recruiting institution is the laboratory Institut Pascal of Clermont-Ferrand (UMR 6602 - UCA/CNRS), axis M3G (mechanics, mechanical engineering, civil engineering, industrial engineering). It is the coordinator of the COROS project from I-SITE CAP20-25, which aims to design and control soft industrial robots. This project brings together interdisciplinary partners in robotics, smart materials, design, and control. The framework benefits from the technological platforms of the engineering school Clermont Auvergne INP, with the companies Michelin and Clermont Auvergne Innovation in the environment. Our team already has experience in industrial cobotics and the development of grippers.


Scientific project and objectives

The so-called "soft" robotics relies on integrating highly deformable components to achieve the functional requirements of motion guidance and conformation to the environment. The associated mechanical architectures can incorporate smart materials for better structural integration and functional distribution. These materials have some physical properties, such as shape or stiffness, modified in response to external stimuli (electrical voltage, magnetic field, heat, etc.). They also have the particularity of having properties that change according to their internal state, for example, the electrical resistivity according to the internal stress. This faculty of self-sensing can allow the same component to simultaneously play the role of actuator and sensor of proprioceptive information.

The work to be done during the post-doc consists in designing and fabricating a multi-material flexible gripper. One of these materials will be an intelligent electroactive or shape memory material because of their impact in the scientific literature and the large existing knowledge base on the subject, including grasping. It will be used for precision actuation and self-sensing. Another one will be derived from pneumatic elastomers for the actuation in large deflections of the gripper's fingers. The design of the latter will be based on the dexterous manipulation (ability to move with the fingers the seized objects) and will have to integrate the faculty of self-sensing. Manufacturing tests will be achieved up to the development of a demonstrator.

The milestones of the work are the following:

  • Handling of the dexterous manipulation criteria.
  • Optimal computer-aided design of the multi-material structure.
  • Fabrication and testing (low-level control).



  • Host laboratory: Institut Pascal (UMR 6602), University Clermont Auvergne, CNRS, Member of Clermont Auvergne INP - Clermont-Ferrand, Auvergne Rhône Alpes, France
  • Supervision of the work :
    • Frédéric Chapelle ; Cette adresse e-mail est protégée contre les robots spammeurs. Vous devez activer le JavaScript pour la visualiser.
  • Starting date: As soon as possible
  • Salary: The net salary is approximatively 2100 euros. Funds from the CIR ITPS of the I-Site CAP 20-25 project
  • Duration: 12 months
  • Candidate: Candidates should have a taste for robotics, materials, and engineering sciences and have elements of expertise in one or more of these areas. The targeted materials can be purchased, but we wish to investigate the possibility of in-house manufacturing. The candidate should also be prepared to carry out given chemical processes (materials chemistry).
  • To apply :
    • Send CV with the list of publications and cover letter to: Cette adresse e-mail est protégée contre les robots spammeurs. Vous devez activer le JavaScript pour la visualiser.
    • The position will remain open until filled



Cobotics, Smart materials, Object manipulation, Perception, Actuation








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