We have multiple Ph.D. students and 1 postdoc position in Fall 2023! Female and underrepresented students are highly encouraged to apply! Please email Dr. Zhao with your interest.
The LIDAR group continuously looks for highly self-motivated students. We are receiving many emails every semester so please be patient if you have not heard back from us for a few days. We will get back to you if your background could be a good fit for the lab. You are also highly recommended to read the following information before you send your inquiry email.
If you are currently Georgia Tech graduate students, please send the following materials in your email: CV/resume, 1-2 representative papers/reports/documents that can demonstrate your academic research capabilities, and 2-3 reference points of contact. I usually don’t schedule individual meetings unless the lab has an impending demand in specific directions or your background matches well.
If you are non-GT students and looking for graduate research positions, please submit your application via the GT graduate school system. You can apply for the Georgia Tech Mechanical Engineering or Robotics Ph.D. program with Mechanical Engineering as your home department. If you get admitted, please reach out to me early January or February and we can discuss if there is a match. A list of Georgia Tech fellowships is here.
Visiting Scholars and Postdocs
If you are looking for a visiting scholar position, please attach the materials mentioned above in your email and explicitly indicate your visiting period (starting and ending dates), and a supporting letter (or at least email contact info) from your current advisor. Our school has a policy on a maximum number of visiting scholars at one period, so the visiting position may not be always available. Being flexible in the visiting period could be helpful.
The lab currently does not have an opening position for a postdoc.
If you are Georgia Tech undergraduate students, we have a VIP project structured in the form of several sub-teams. You can join the team for course credit. Please also see the post below for more details. Undergraduate students are expected to commit 10-15 hours per week on a project and present your progress during our bi-weekly group meetings. With this level of time commitment, the PI can structure a specific project producing expectable outcomes. If you would like to bring a new project that could complement current lab research projects, please explicitly state that in your email and elaborate on how that project will contribute to the lab research. If you want to register ME specific problems for credit, a standard requirement is to write a mid-term report (2-3 pages) and a 6-page final report for your research project.
As one of our leading projects, we are looking for highly motivated undergraduate students who are interested in the Athena upper body robot project — a Biomimetic and Dexterous Robot Avatar — as follows: (i) Athena upper body robot control, circuit, PCB design, and mechanical design to upgrade our current control system. Athena robot is a bio-inspired, highly agile upper body humanoid robot. It has more than 20 degrees-of-freedom and around 40 actuators. Our team has been actively improving our controller and mechanical design of this robot for dynamic manipulation. Our goal is to integrate this upper body robot with our bipedal walking robot Cassie for unified locomotion and manipulation. Students are expected to master skills in control, circuit design, Arduino programming, basics of mechatronics and control, mechanical design, and rapid prototyping. (ii) whole-body kinematics and multi-body dynamics for the upper body Athena robot, nonlinear dynamics, and impedance control of the upper body manipulator. Students are expected to have basic knowledge in robot multi-body dynamics and control, dynamic simulator, and Python/C++ programming skills. (iii) Perception algorithms of dynamic manipulation and rough terrain locomotion. For the locomotion project, we are interested in designing robust perception algorithms that can classify various types of terrains at runtime. For the manipulation project, the team is looking for real-time perception algorithms for agile grasping of irregular, soft, and deformable objects, and cluttered scene identification.
The lab is also initiating a few new projects on quadruped gait design, low-level control design, kinematics planning, soft contact modeling, and optimal control for dynamic grasping. The undergraduate students are highly encouraged and supported to participate in the graduate-level research and target scientific, publicable research outcomes. Please contact the lab PI for more information.