City:  Stuttgart
Date:  Apr 11, 2024

Master Thesis - Advanced Base Controller for Mobile Robots in Challenging Outdoor Terrain

The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft ( currently operates 76 institutes and research institutions throughout Germany and is the world’s leading applied research organization. Around 30 800 employees work with an annual research budget of 3.0 billion euros. 

In the Professional Service Robots - Outdoor research group we develop autonomous mobile robots for a variety of outdoor applications, such as agriculture and forestry. The focus is on the development of an autonomous outdoor navigation solution as well as the hardware of the robots.
One challenge in these rough environments are the versatile ground conditions like slopes, mud, (deeper) gravel or mulch that can lead to deadlocks or major deviations from the planned path. To avoid this, the robot needs to estimate the slippage of the single wheels and compute appropriate wheel commands to these situations. The robot may also use the slip estimation to initiate recovery behaviours when it is not able to follow the planned path.


What you will do

Your work will be focused on the development of a sophisticated base controller with a slippage estimation. You will evaluate existing approaches and derive a novel concept for slip estimation and wheel velocity control based on wheel rotation speed and torque measurements, as well as information from the robot localization system. During your implementation with ROS in C++ you will regularly test your algorithms on our outdoor robot CURTmini and evaluate the performance.


What you bring to the table

  • Background in Computer Science, Control Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Mechatronics or similar 
  • Profound knowledge of C/C++ 
  • Knowledge of ROS 
  • Enthusiasm for mobile robotics
  • Fluent in English or German 


What you can expect

  • Cutting-edge technology in the field of outdoor mobile robotics 
  • Hands on with our robots on our own test fields in Stuttgart
  • Take on responsibility and freedom to implement your own ideas
  • Work with the best students in their discipline 
  • Familiar atmosphere including Cake Friday


We also offer the possibility of direct entry for excellent graduates.


We value and promote the diversity of our employees' skills and therefore welcome all applications - regardless of age, gender, nationality, ethnic and social origin, religion, ideology, disability, sexual orientation and identity. Severely disabled persons are given preference in the event of equal suitability. 

With its focus on developing key technologies that are vital for the future and enabling the commercial utilization of this work by business and industry, Fraunhofer plays a central role in the innovation process. As a pioneer and catalyst for groundbreaking developments and scientific excellence, Fraunhofer helps shape society now and in the future. 

If you are interested, please submit a short letter of motivation on your personal favourite topic listed above, CV, current grade transcript to 

Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation IPA 


Requisition Number: 71234                Application Deadline:


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