TU Delft - Assistant Professor or Associate Professor Bio-inspired Micro Air Vehicles


Flying animals are currently capable of feats that make drones look hopelessly bleak. Birds demonstrate power-efficient flight combined with remarkable maneuverability, achieved by multiple-degree-of-freedom control (subtle wing motion adjustments, wing morphing, tail deflections, changes of body posture, …). Fruitflies are able to fly, navigate, avoid obstacles and predators, find food and shelter, learn, and interact socially with other fruit flies, all with a brain that consists of only ~100,000 neurons.

The assistant professor position will focus on achieving similar capabilities with artificial, bio-inspired Micro Air Vehicles (MAVs). The position may be geared towards the design and low-level control of such MAVs. Research could then for example focus on the design and control of novel, bio-inspired vehicles, and their sensing, control, and actuation.

One challenge here lies in the high sensory input dimensionality (think of distributed airflow sensors integrated with the MAV’s wing) and high degree of freedom actuation (e.g., morphing wings). These pose a significant challenge to current sensing and control algorithms and require fundamental new approaches to low-level, distributed sensor fusion and control. However, the position may also be geared more towards the bio-inspired intelligence behind the successes of flying animals such as flying insects and birds. In that case, a focus may be on bio-inspired navigation and control skills of flying MAVs.

You will be expected to:

  • develop courses and conduct teaching at undergraduate and post-graduate levels
  • perform top-quality research in fields such as (Bio-inspired) Robotics, Aerospace, Control, or Artificial Intelligence
  • establish and execute an externally funded research programme
  • interact and collaborate with other researchers and specialists in academia and/ or industry
  • be an inspiring member of our staff and have excellent communication skills
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