Idiap online recruitment system

Open Position

Open position's detailed data


Type: Internship
Name (ID): Human-Robot Interfaces for Interactive Robot Programming (OP-20210719-163514)
Supervised by: Jean-Marc ODOBEZ


For robots to be widely adopted across industries and beyond structured manufacturing environments,it is critical for them to be programmable by a wide range of users. Growing research on End User Programming (EUP) for robotics aims to address this problem with novel user interfaces, programming languages, and techniques to aid or fully automate robot programming.

In this project, you will design a Human-Robot Interface for Robot Programming, integrating an existing programming framework based on iterative Linear Quadratic Regulator (iLQR) [1] on a robotic manipulator, the FRANKA EMIKA Panda. The interface will allow users to compose robot programs defined as sequences of components like goal poses or constraints (e.g., maintaining a gripper orientation)which, in turn, inform the generation of executable robot trajectories.

More specifically, in a first phase, you will build the basic interface allowing the the user to interact with the robot. A Graphic User Interface (GUI) will be developed to specify program components, taking into account the Panda’s capability to be effortlessly displaced (i.e., moved in gravity compensation),and allowing the user to define via-points in different frames of reference. The GUI will also guide the user in the addition of other robot actions that cannot be easily demonstrated, like actuating grippers, or detecting objects in the environment. Finally, a simple visualization interface will be integrated, allowing the user to inspect the current program, to visualize trajectories, and hence test them on new scenarios.

In a second phase, you will study and investigate further interaction schemes for the user to refine and modify the current program. For instance, new interfaces for the user to add constraints on the program could be devised (similar to [2]), such as maintaining a certain orientation or being more precise when reaching a pose. Other modalities could allow the user to stop a robot execution to add new via-points,or provide partial demonstrations (as done in [3]), with or without the use of kinesthetic teaching (for example, by letting users show a motion or define via-points with their body or gestures). This second phase is more exploratory in nature, and therefore leaves you with more freedom to experiment a specific programming interface or modality.

More information and details about the project can be found here

About Idiap:

Idiap is an independent, not-for-profit, research institute recognized and funded by the Swiss Federal Government, the State of Valais, and the City of Martigny.

Idiap offers competitive salaries and conditions at all levels in a young, high-quality, dynamic, and multicultural environment. Idiap is an equal opportunity employer and is actively involved in the "Advancement of Women in Science" European initiative. The Institute seeks to maintain a principle of open competition (on the basis of merit) to appoint the best candidate, provides equal opportunity for all candidates, and equally encourage both genders to apply.

Idiap is located in the town of Martigny in Valais, a scenic region in the south of Switzerland, surrounded by the highest mountains of Europe, and offering exceptional quality of life, exciting recreational activities, including hiking, climbing and skiing, as well as varied cultural activities. It is within close proximity to Lausanne and Geneva. Although Idiap is located in the French part of Switzerland, English is the official working language. Free French lessons are also provided on a complimentary basis.

For frequently asked questions (FAQs) about living in Switzerland, please go to

By continuing your browsing on this site, you agree to the use of cookies to improve your user experience and to make statistics of visits. For any questions regarding data protection or the use of cookies, please refer to the following webpage:

 Show display preferences 


Fill-in and submit your application through Idiap online recruitment system
Request further information about this position